Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Christians are not known for promoting laughter.
Sarah laughed at God when He told her that she would give birth to a child in her old age. God got the last laugh by making her name the child Isaac, which means laughter.
I have always thought God had a good sense of humor.
However, it was not long after my ordination when I realized there were Christians who did not share God’s sense of humor.
I was once asked to tell a joke at a denominational event. I told a clean PG rated joke and the whole crowd roared with joy and laughter. When I went back to my seat, someone whispered in my ear, “That is going to get you in trouble!”
By the end of the week a crowd was hunting me down. They wanted me either to be fired or to be rebuked publicly. Apparently I offended someone’s sensibilities.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 states: “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh!”
The Westminster Catechism, teaches in its first question and answer:
The chief end and purpose of mankind is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
Laughing out loud is one way to enjoy God.
I use to tell clean laugh-out-loud jokes when I preached. However, I quit because of the grief I would get afterwards. I now stick to using my mother’s quick wit and dry humor when I preach. People do not laugh out loud at this humor, thus not disturbing the church curmudgeons.
In the Book of Deuteronomy, which is considered the straight-laced portion of scripture the people of God are commanded six times, “You shall rejoice!”
God wants you to laugh!
God wants you to laugh until your belly aches; until tears run down your cheeks; even until you have to make a quick trip to the toilet.
In the New Testament, God teaches us that one of His heart’s desire for us is that our joy be complete.
Real Christians laugh!
They laugh not because they are being frivolous. They laugh in obedience to God’s commands. They laugh in joy as they celebrate God’s blessings and the abundant life He gives us.
You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you.
You shall rejoice before the Lord your God.
Laugh out loud, the Lord has done great things for you.