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The Christian's joy and laughter can remain unchanged, saying in all circumstances the same statements of faith, whether pleasant places or trying times.
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:17-18).

This beautiful confession of trust that overcomes devastation states so perfectly the Christian's walk of faith. When all else fails, the child of God rejoices. He has joy (laughter) flowing because the Christian joy does not have its basis in that which succeeds or what fails, in shortages, difficulties or negative news reports.

Oh, yes, you can be as most people "under the circumstances" and talk negatively right along with the rest of the world...go on an everlasting "pity party," and seek sympathy.

Or you can follow the trend of most theologians and say, "I guess God is trying to teach me something or humble me...or expose a weakness in my life by this punishment." Or, you can have the kind of confession that rejoices in Him regardless of what happens in the world!

Joy That Is Fixed
The Christian's joy and laughter can remain unchanged, saying in all circumstances the same statements of faith, neither going by feelings, nor how things are falling out, whether pleasant places or trying times. He, the child of God, is fixed; he remains the same.

He confesses, he laughs, he shouts for joy...for it is coming from within, not without. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. The cross did not take His joy...neither can circumstances take ours.

You can laugh if you want to. I recall that as a small boy my sister and I would play a game called, "let's get tickled." We discovered a great truth in this simply contrived game.

We would begin to make ourselves laugh even though there was nothing to laugh about (it was during the depression, so there was really very little to cause laughter), and we would begin slowly with first one chuckling and then the other, gradually working up until we were both in a paroxysm of laughter! It was so enjoyable that we did it rather often.

You can do the same thing; you can laugh, or you can cry! Sometimes you hear someone tell about an incident that happened years ago and they will say, "I can laugh about it now, but it was no laughing matter then!" Perhaps it would have been better to have laughed about it then, by faith, than to have saved it until now.

Laughter Is Healthy
It would have brightened up all those years in between...and perhaps even lengthened your life span because he who laughs takes good medicine that doesn't dry up bones...but rather strengthens them.

One of our pastors relates an incident that illustrates this so very well. He tells of how things in his church were going badly, so badly that he just didn't feel like going on. One day he said to his wife, "I guess what I need is a good laugh."

She believed him instantly and began to laugh aloud and tickle him until he was helpless with laughter. Just that simple exercise lifted his spirit and he felt then like going on. Yes, laughter is compared to good medicine because, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." It certainly won't hurt. Try it; you'll like it, I'm sure.

We take ourselves so seriously. We bemoan the way we are made; we chafe under the load we carry. Laughter, especially when we learn to laugh at ourselves, frees us from laboring under the criticism of others.

Why should I permit how others accept me to be a heavy load on my shoulders? How embarrassed we were as children when someone laughed and poked fun at the way we dressed. What release it would have been to have been taught to laugh with them!

If they said, "What an ugly dress," and began to ridicule, you could have said, "Yes, it is kind of funny, isn't it?" When you missed that question in class and all began to tee-hee and giggle, you could have freed yourself of many future scarred years by laughing with them.

But we weren't taught that way. I can recall so many embarrassing incidents as a child, some of them leaving a lasting deep impression on my soul. Oh! That someone would have preached a sermon on self-acceptance and release like this, then I could have been taught to laugh at myself.

As one young woman said about a friend, "I can't take him seriously until he takes himself more lightly."

Source: He Who Laughs Lasts and Lasts and Lasts by Dr. Roy H. Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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