The Laughter of the Saints

“And Sarah said, ‘Laughter, God brings to me; all the ones who hear will laugh with me.’”

(Genesis 21:6)


The emphasis that is placed here is on the laughter. Usually, this word refers to the way we might mock someone by laughing and jeering at him, but in this context a very different sentiment is being conveyed. Here is the joy of a lifetime of reproach being lifted. The desire of Sarah’s heart, to bear her husband a child, has been denied to her through her normal childbearing years, yet he has remained faithful to her. Now, in her old age, a gift has been given to this woman. The shame and reproach that came with being barren has been removed and her only response is to laugh with joy at the thing that God has done.

What a beautiful picture of the response of this woman. Sometimes, when one has walked so long in the darkness of rejection and then suddenly one is thrust out of that despair and into joy, there is nothing to do but to laugh — one cannot contain the joy one is experiencing. Here, this woman who has tried to bring that child for Abraham in a variety of different ways, even to the extent of giving Hagar to her husband as a surrogate wife, is given the desires of her heart; what a beautiful and a human response as we see her laughing and anticipating the laughter of others who will join in celebrating with her.

Yet is this also not what Jesus does for every believer? He removes the reproach of sin and judgment from us as we stand before God. He gives us life where death was our only state of being. We are brought by him into the household of the Almighty God of the Universe and presented as clean and as a child of that God and King; beloved, what can we do but laugh in joy? What can we do but celebrate? The laughter of the saints is a holy thing and it is a thing that brings healing because it stems from a heart that has been redeemed. When God’s people gather together to fellowship, joyful laughter seems to be one of the most basic characteristics of those gatherings; I can only imagine what the joyful laughter will be like when we are all joined together before the throne of our Lord and our joy made fully and irrevocably complete. I pray that you are ready to join with me there on that day.

Wonderful night! Wonderful night!

Dreamed of by prophets and sages!

Manhood redeemed for all ages,

Welcomes thy hallowing might,

Wonderful, Wonderful night!

Wonderful night! Wonderful night!

Sweet be thy rest to the weary,

Making the dull heart and dreary

Laugh in a dream of delight;

Wonderful, Wonderful night!

-John Meyer

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on August 19, 2011, in Expositions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed this post. I pray I am more joyful in my life and will laugh more. That is good to do. Actually I do smile alot and sometimes people are suspicious–that I’m not serious enough. I wonder if is possible to be serious and joyful at the same time.


    • Thanks, Stephen,

      Frankly, I wonder whether we smile enough. We of all people have reason to smile because of what God has done for us. Certainly, there is time for mourning and deep grief, but as Solomon says, there is also time to mend the rent garments and to dance. And yes, one can be serious and smile at the same time. Have you ever watched a master tradesman who loves his trade at work? There is a sense of satisfaction as the skilled tradesman does not look at the task ahead of him, but sets his mind on the completed project that he is bringing into being. Having spent 11 years as a professional tradesman (I installed carpet), I can speak from personal experience. And, there is an analogy there that speaks to our Sanctification as well, for as God looks upon us, he sees the perfected and glorified end to which he is bringing us and does not sit in discouragement at the long road he must take us across. 🙂

      Sometimes people want to make sure that we don’t take our faith too lightly and thus they impress the importance of solemnity and seriousness upon us, and I understand their care, but at the same time, if we spend all of our time frowning, how winsome will our testimony be? And… how Biblical will our witness be?

      Good thoughts; I ordered a copy of your book on prayer, I look forward to getting the chance to read it when it comes.




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