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Endless Joy

Talk to anyone and if you dig deep enough, you will find pain. Whether it is loneliness, hunger, marital conflicts, kids gone awry, a job that you hate or sickness, pain is probably the most common element of all of our lives.

 

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

Luke 6:21

 

Jesus is about joy, not suffering and pain, even though he had to go through an enormous amount of pain to rescue us from our pain. He promises us laughter. Luther said, “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”

 

“And as I knelt beside the brook

To drink eternal life, I took

A glance across the golden grass,

And saw my dog, old Blackie, fast

As she could come. She leaped the stream—

Almost—and what a happy gleam

Was in her eye. I knelt to drink,

And knew that I was on the brink

Of endless joy. And everywhere

I turned I saw a wonder there.”

John Piper

 

My wife tells me that I am a nerd. She doesn’t think I have much mirth and laughter. Maybe she is right. I am so serious about everything that I do and say and I go to great effort to discern God’s plan for me each day. I am blessed by so many wonderful encounters arranged by the Lord each day that I finish most days exhausted, but with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Not quite laughter, but an abundance of Jesus’s joy.

Jesus tells us that we will laugh in heaven. Anticipating the laughter to come, Jesus says we should “leap for joy” now. Can you imagine someone leaping for joy and not laughing? In early Christian Greek tradition, Easter Monday was a “day of joy and laughter,” called Bright Monday. Only followers of Jesus can laugh in the face of persecution, pain and suffering because they know they will someday laugh for eternity.

One of Satan’s lies is that God—and goodness—is joyless and void of humor, while Satan—and evil—bring pleasure and satisfaction. The fact is that Satan is humorless. Sin forever stripped him of joy. In contrast, picture Jesus at dinner with His disciples. Jesus had an amazing wit. Picture how he made fun of each of their idiosyncrasies. You know there had to be a loving amount of kidding and humor.

It is time that we had a theology of humor that prepares us for the celebration, spontaneous laughter, and overflowing joy.  Who is the most intelligent, creative, witty, and joyful human to have ever existed? Jesus. It might be time to immerse ourselves in His word and see that we need to bring a smile to all those that we meet and serve.

Yes, marriage is tough and kids don’t necessarily respond the way we think is right and sickness debilitates and the loss of a loved one can bring great sorrow. Where is the joy in that? In the face of difficulty and discouragement, keep your eyes on joy’s source. Recite Christ’s promise to the world and universe: YOU WILL LAUGH!

 

ARE YOU EXPERIENCING THE JOY OF CHRIST SO THAT THERE IS PLENTY OF LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE NOW? 

BY THE WAY, I AM WORKING AT IT!

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

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