How Does One Laugh in Times Like These?
One of the things that used to mystify me in the Bible were the Scriptures that would encourage me to rejoice in the Lord always. I wondered how in those times and more so now could one truly possess a spirit of joy and thankfulness when surrounded by so much suffering and negative circumstances that either they were experiencing directly or indirectly as they witnessed the suffering experienced by others all over the world. One of the negatives of technology today is that one is not spared the immediate occurrence of suffering and is bombarded by it almost moment by moment.
How then could an all knowing God command us to rejoice in the midst of this?
Over the years the mystery has begun to unravel as I meditate upon the Word of God and am ably taught by the leaders in my church and by my husband for whom rejoicing is so second nature. The answer lies in the following truths:
- God is a good God, all loving, perfect and passionate about us humans. He desires that we would desire Him, to love Him and to fellowship with Him daily, to hold Him in highest esteem surrendering to His lordship over lives, knowing that whatever comes our way He allows not for our destruction but for our continual moulding into beings who resemble His spiritual nature in increasing degrees.
- The earth is not our home. As the old hymns signal out we are but just pilgrims here, passing through on our way back to our heavenly home to live eternally with our heavenly Father where perfect love and no suffering abide.
- We are like our God, three in one, body, soul and spirit. Our bodies are temporal just as this world is temporal. Our main investments therefore should be in ensuring that our spirits are made ready for an eternity with God. The alternative, an eternity without Him would truly be suffering unbearable with no end ever in sight.
- We are equipped with spiritual vision. As we feed our spirits and become realigned with our spiritual heritage and citizenry and take our positions in Him who is seated in heavenly places … we then become equipped with spiritual vision which helps us to discern or make sense of the suffering as well as helps us to overcome. We begin to see as God sees. He is the One who could take the worst of circumstances and make beauty for ashes. Each negative situation, if endured with a growing faith in our God to guide and protect us, only serves as an instrument to shape us for His honour and glory.
- He does not give us more than we bear. We can indeed rejoice as we apply the Word which reminds us that He does not give us more than we can bear. And as we personally experience the peace that passes all understanding we demonstrate to an unbelieving world that one can have joy, one can laugh because our lives are committed into the hands of the One who can restore all things.
With growing love, faith and trust in Him, as we endure the hard times, He teaches us how to truly rest in Him. And as Grandmummy Olga’s favourite scripture says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)