Have you ever considered what a blessing laughter is? We laugh at many things, and some folks have even made their living by making us laugh. In my day it was people like Abott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope. Sometimes we laugh at things that would ordinarily be sad, but, because of how they occur and to whom they occur, we laugh. We are reminded of such things in movies like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Later humor was directed toward political antics and even matters concerning human sexuality. But, no matter where we look for a laugh, the most wonderful of all occasions for our laughter occurs when we are surprised by and delighted in an event or thing for which we didn’t dare to hope.
Both Abraham and Sarah had hoped for a child, but as they aged such a thing seemed beyond their reach (cp. Genesis 15:2 and 16:2). Indeed, when their child did finally come it was not the result of their own effort alone, but the gift of a wonderful and powerful God. Abraham laughed that such a thing would occur to him and Sarah in their old age (Genesis 17:17), and Sarah laughed in delight (Genesis 21:6) at the birth of Isaac—whose name means laughter. What a wonderful event! What could ever compare with such a wonderful, unexpected and delightful event as the birth of a son when the human body could no longer do such a thing? It was a miracle—a delightful gift of God!
This same kind of laughter has been enjoyed by the people of God throughout their history. According to Numbers 23:23, no other god representing any other nation could hurt Israel—God’s people—“What had God done!” Israel was never conquered or brought into captivity because here enemies were strong, but because she began to turn her trust away from God and placed it in other gods—the gods of the nations who not only had no power to hurt her, but had no power to save her. Nevertheless, no other nation was ever born out of another nation and accompanied with such great signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 4:32-34). Even modern Israel was brought into being in a similar manner that her ancient ancestors were. In a single day, after a long time, when hope was all but lost—she laughed!
Nearly two thousand years ago, after a long time, in the end of the age (Hebrews 1:1-2; cp. Genesis 17:17; 21:6-7), when there seemed little hope (cp. Luke 1:5-7, 13, 68-75; 2:25-32, 36-38) God sent his Son into the world (John 3:16) and a new nation was born in a single day (cp. Isaiah 66:5-8). The hatred of her brethren and the power of the authorities couldn’t prevent it. No devise of man was able to prevent God from performing his will (2Corinthians 13:8), and the people of God were again made to laugh (John 20:19-20; Acts 2:4, 41, 46-47), as the bride of Christ brought forth her children (John 3:29; 2Corinthians 11:2)
The laughter that God offers us cannot be compared with the entertainment we often seek in this world. God’s kind of laugher springs from those who have no hope in this world, from those who don’t look for satisfaction from this world. The laughter we have in our God is that which springs from the joy of knowing him—intimately. It springs from understanding that the world cannot hurt us, that we are safe, because he is our friend. This laughter is experienced as a gift from God over something or some event that has occurred to us that could not possibly have been produced in our strength alone. It comes to us, because we believe; we trust when all hope should be gone, when there isn’t any strength remaining in us, except for the trust in our God who brings laughter!