Devotional: ‘When It’s Wrong to Laugh’

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The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground. “My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.” “All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”

So, Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry!  Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.”  Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it.  When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men.  As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.  “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.  “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.  Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”  Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent.  Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.  So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”  Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh?  Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”  But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”  (Genesis 18:1-15)

Throughout scripture we see a pattern of how God often works in the lives of His people. Often, He sets an impossible task before us and then commands to us to have faith. Sometimes it is faith to build an ark even though it has never rained. Other times it is faith to go up against an enemy when they drastically outnumber us. Sometimes it is faith to have a child when you are long past the time of childbearing. But if God has made a promise to us, why should we laugh in disbelief?

Let’s face it, we all have areas in our lives that if we laughed, it would be in disbelief. “God can’t do that. God won’t do that.” Such laughter is due to a lack of faith and the Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. (see Hebrews 11:6)

The angel asked Sarah, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” You answer that question. Is there anything God cannot do? That’s not to say that God will do everything that we propose, but rather that God will do everything that He has promised.

The Bible says –

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  (1 Corinthians 2:9)

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

I pray that each of us today will have the opportunity to laugh over the goodness of God!

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