How Can I Laugh With Despair All Around Us?

“Jesus does not have a sense of humor,” proclaimed a young Christian after hearing me joke about something said.

“Really?” I replied, shocked at his words.

“Yes,” he said, “people are going to Hell all around us, starving in Africa, and sitting in prisons in North Korea. How could Jesus possibly have a smile on His face with all those troubles on His heart? Aren’t we supposed to be like Him?”

Sadly, I suffered brain freeze at that precise moment and could think of nothing to counter his arguments. Later on my drive home, I had an interesting experience.

As I drove my truck, I talked to the Lord. The first part of the conversation related to the young man’s statements. The Lord advised me to bless and pray for him, nothing else.

Then, I added, “Lord, You need to hurry up and get me married to *Trudy.”

Instantly, the truck’s cab filled with laughter. I could actually hear Jesus laughing and all of heaven laughing along with Him. The laughing was an all-out, grab your belly, roll on the floor laughter.

I began laughing. Tears rolled down my face and I was forced to pull the truck off the side of the road and sit there until the laughter passed.

Afterward, I wondered why the Lord and heaven laughed so much. Were my words funny? Or was He just happy for me?

One year later, I discovered the answers to my questions. I married Carol and not *Trudy.Β It seemed the joke was on me.

Now, I understand this is experiential, but does scripture back it up?

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:13 NLT)

For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15 NLT)

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. (Proverbs 17:22 NLT)

How many of us like to be around people who are serious and long faced all the time? Most likely, none of us.

If that’s the case, then how can we possibly believe Jesus walked around with a long, serious, woe-is-me look on His face all day long? After all, the people were drawn to Him, especially the children. And let me tell you, children shun long-faced, serious-minded people like the plague.

This does not mean Jesus did not weep with those who were weeping, He did. Yet, His personality was not stuck in one gear all the time. He enjoyed life and God’s creation.

Who created laughter and a sense of humor – God or Satan? Here’s a one word answer: Isaac.

In the Hebrew, the name Isaac means laughing one or laughter. Just think, God placed such an emphasis on having a good sense of humor and laughing that He named one of the patriarchs laughter.

Okay, as you can see, I enjoy a good laugh and believe having a sense of humor is important, especially in today’s word.

This does not mean I don’t weep for the prisoners in North Korea. Or the 11 million abandoned children in India. Or abortions in America. Or for other tragic circumstances. I do weep and am burdened for them.

But I don’t live my whole life in mourning and weeping all the time because I also enjoy life and a good laugh.

And I believe Jesus does, too.

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15 Comments

Filed under Christianity

15 responses to “How Can I Laugh With Despair All Around Us?

  1. You have no idea how appropriate this is right now. I am linking this on my post.

  2. Pingback: Copyright « Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

  3. Great post. I completely agree, God gave us humor. We need it desperately!

  4. Thank you so much Larry, for blessing us with your humor, a gift to us! It might be hard to understand . .. and impossible apart from Him . ..that we can be crying in our spirits for others, but still joyful and laughing too. God bless you as you do both!

  5. Cathy,

    Thanks. Tell your cat “no.” My cats hate the “no” word.

  6. Lindsey,

    Thanks. You must be back online again. I’ll stop by.

  7. Debbie,

    Thanks. That’s a good way of putting it.

  8. I’m really glad to see you write about this, Larry. I have a periodic “issue” with a brother (maintenance guy, who says he wants to be a pastor): some time back I was telling him about the 2 online pastors whose churches I regularly “attend”. Both men are well schooled Bible teachers–everything they teach is backed up by scripture; and they are gifted speakers–both for their clarity, and entertaining manners. I was floored when this chronic whiner said to me: “the pulpit is not the place for jokes”.

    I don’t know why some Christians would rather be miserable, and delude themselves that they’re being “holy”. Hello? Jesus came that we should live in His Grace–abundantly!! I’m not discounting the woes of the world, as you mentioned–they’re serious and require serious prayer. At the risk of sounding judgmental, my friend is not grieving for those causes–but petty job stresses. I think he should be grateful that he HAS a job, a healthy wife and kids, a house and plenty of food, etc. Gratitude for all that Jesus has done for me is the fount of my joy–and from that joy, I have lots to laugh about (most typically, myself!). Apologies for the rant–God bless you.

  9. Caddo Veil,

    Thanks. I’m on Facebook and use it like a coffee house visit with friends. I seldom write anything serious at all. My desire is to use it to build relationships and interact with people. My friends includes atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists, family members, old time school friends, and Christians. My serious writing is done on blogs and in books.

    Believe it or not, I’ve had friends drop me and rebuke me for not being serious enough.

    So, I understand where you are coming from. It’s my belief there is sufficient grace to have a sense of humor and to be serious at the same time. Humor is a proven way to reach and teach people.

  10. Really great post and I agree, Our Lord is a funny Lord at times and His sense of humour is one that I most grateful for.
    Sometimes when I am not listening close enough He will gently nudge at me in some funny way. Thankfully He is also a kind Christ!~

    So happy to have found your blog from Sis Caddo’s bllog.

  11. Barefoot Baroness,

    Thanks. I have always enjoyed Jesus’ sense of humor.

  12. I agree wholeheartedly; I think God definitely laughs and has a sense of humor. After all, we were made in His image! He wants us to be happy, and He much enjoys seeing His children laugh and enjoy themselves. When we were kids, how often the night before Prom night, or some other big event, would we awake with a big pimple right on the tip of our nose? Or an another obvious place? The day before, we obsessed over looking perfect, but God, in His sense of humor said, “You have a misconception of what perfect really is kiddo! And until you get it, you’ll learn to love that pustule on your pretty face!” So you looked in the mirror freaking out, and then looked up and said, “Thanks God!” You may not have laughed about it then, but you probably laughed about it later in life when you were sitting around talking about the ‘good ol’ days’.

    Does God have a sense of humor? Yes!

  13. Lyn,

    Thanks. All I have to do to remind myself of God’s sense of humor is look in the mirror and see all the ways God has led me.

  14. it probably makes us feel holy when we do not laugh? at least the pharisees does think πŸ™‚

    “When you are attacking a town and the war drags on, you must not cut down the trees with your axes. You may eat the fruit, but do not cut down the trees.
    Are the trees your enemies, that you should attack them? ”
    – Deuteronomy 20:19

    I cannot think of a better picture to describe the verse but add a this last word to it ‘Duh?’

    πŸ™‚

  15. savedbygrace,

    That’s a great statement about feeling more holy if we don’t laugh. Duh?

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