This week the Lord reminded me of a simple and yet profound truth. Tammy was taking me to the airport and we were talking about a number of things. Throughout the conversation she laughed several times and her laughter was God’s messenger to me. I am grateful to have a wife who is contented and joyful, but there was in her laughter a needed reminder for my own spirit: life gets serious and days can get heavy, but don’t lose your laughter!

They say that the average child laughs 300 times a day…and the average adult laughs 17 times a day. What happens to us? Where is the beautiful simplicity and sincerity of childhood? For sure, we grow and mature in our understanding. Experiences begin to define the way we look at things. But there is a tenderness and joy that must never be lost. Add adulthood to childhood but do not lose all of the childlikeness in your adulthood.

In sad days it is easy to lose a glad heart. I believe that joy is God’s gift but I must guard it vigilantly every day. Satan loves to steal joy and even some people have become very adept joy thieves! Don’t lose your ability to laugh. Over the last couple of days I had the privilege of eating and fellowshipping with some preacher friends. As we talked and laughed my own soul was refreshed. We all have problems – but don’t lose your laughter!

There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). When it comes to addressing sin our laughter is to be turned to mourning (James 4:9). But be sure of this: once you have come to Jesus He turns the mourning to laughter!

Abraham and Sarah both laughed in unbelief at the promise of God to give them a child in their old age (Genesis 17:17, 18:12-13). But when the son was born the laughter changed. “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6). The laughter of unbelief became the laughter of joy, and what a witness it was.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). This wounded world could use some of this medicine right now! It is more than a happy face – it is a merry heart.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them” (Psalm 126:2). When sanctified laughter and jubilant singing characterizes the lives of changed men and women it is a most attractive thing. Joy is a powerful witness.

Now, just because people are laughing does not mean they are full of the joy of the Lord. Laughter can be one of the emptiest things in the world if it does not grow out of a heart filled with God (Proverbs 14:13). A lost world is laughing its way to hell, and too often in “entertainment” believers are laughing at things they should be weeping over.

Laughter is not the goal; it is merely an indicator. You can tell a lot about a person by what makes them sad, mad, and glad. Scripture reveals that laughter is one outward evidence of a happy heart.

My grandmother was a joyful Christian to the very end of her life and I can still hear her contagious laughter. It was a holy thing. Not light or flippant, but the expression of a soul that was full of the joy of Jesus.

As we grow older it is easy to become more cynical and critical. The idealism of youth ebbs away and the realities of a harsh world become clearer. Disillusionment can set in. With the passage of time all of us become more sour or more sweet, and it all depends on whether we have learned to keep the joy of the Lord as our strength.

2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Christ, God’s treasure, lives in our vessel! Whatever is on the inside is going to come out eventually. Like the pitchers that Gideon’s three hundred men carried, it is when the vessels are broken that the light within begins to truly shine.

Whatever brokenness you are dealing with today, let it be the means of showing the reality of Christ to others. Choose joy. Don’t lose your laughter.

(Listen to this week’s Bible message on keeping the joy of the Lord: “Singing to the End” here.)

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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