This morning I was studying the life of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac, and began researching what the Bible has to say on the subject of laughter. It’s a very interesting subject if you ever get the time to study it further. The name Isaac means ‘laughter’ and was very appropriate for a child born under such amazing circumstances. Both his parents, Abraham and Sarah, laughed when they were reminded of God’s promise to give them a son of their own flesh. Theirs was the laugh of incredulity, not of faith, though, as both were very old (Genesis 18:11). Abraham literally fell on his face laughing and asked himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ (Genesis 17:17).
Sarah laughed also. ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’ (Genesis 18:12). God was not pleased with either of their responses, but, in His mercy, and despite their temporary journey into doubt, still brought His purposes to pass.
Their laughter of incredulity was transformed into rapturous delight and joyful wonderment, when they held their precious new-born in aching arms! Sarah, the mother of nations, is recorded as saying, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me’. And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age’ (Genesis 21:6-7). Only our God can do that!
On a more personal note, how do these biblical truths apply to each of our lives? Has God given you a promise, but, due to the delay in its fulfillment, are you now beginning to lag in faith? I don’t mean to condemn you, if this is the case in your life, but rather encourage you.
In the book of Proverbs we read that ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life’ (Proverbs 13:12). In verse 19 of the same chapter, the writer adds that ‘A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul’. If that is the case then an unfulfilled one can leave a bitter taste.
Perhaps you’re stuck in the uncomfortable place where the fulfillment of God’s promise to you is deferred. May I encourage you that God’s delays are not necessarily His denials, so choose hope and faith, over unbelief and doubt. NOTHING is impossible for God, and He delights in fulfilling His promises and bringing about His purposes in each of our lives. He also specialises in transforming the ‘heart sickness’ that comes from deferred hope into incredulous laughter. He’s done this in my life and He can do it in your life as well. Dare to embrace this truth today.
Prayer: O God, You know the journey I’ve walked and what unfulfilled promises still exist in my life. Like Abraham and Sarah, I sometimes wobble in my faith walk and am tempted to doubt Your promises to me, but today I choose again faith and hope, over doubt and unbelief! Thank You that You’re the God of the impossible, and nothing is too hard for You. I trust You to transform my deferred hope into fulfilled longing, in Your way and timing. I submit to your sovereignty afresh today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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