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The Promise of Laughter

Laughter is a very important thing in a person’s life.  It can do incredible things for the body, soul, and spirit of a person.  We know in the Bible that Isaac’s (Son of Sarah and Abraham’s) name means “he laughs” or a derivative of laughter.  Abraham was the founding father of faith in the Bible.  Before Isaac was born Sarah said, “Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

Genesis 21:

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Sarah said, “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.”

The Lord promised Sarah, “Laughter” and that is what she got when Isaac was born, laughter.  This is a woman who had been barren until she was 99 and she had no hope of getting a child, but God promised her a son named “Isaac”, which means laughter.

Now after Isaac was a certain age, the Lord told Abraham to go and sacrifice son, Isaac, the very one he held dear, the very thing he held precious to him, and the joy of his heart, and he told to sacrifice him at the altar, so he was in essence telling him to go and sacrifice, “Laughter” on the altar.  This was a very risky thing to do for Abraham.  He was going to have to sacrifice “Laughter”.  But just in the moment in time God told Abraham to stop.

 

Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.

Isaac, was the joy of his heart, and it wouldn’t be easy to lose him, and yes, he did have faith that Isaac would be raised from the dead, and that’s where he was able to make the sacrifice.

How would you feel if you had to put your laughter on the altar?  Many of you probably already have, but God is not going to leave you there.  He has better things in store for you.

Isaiah 54 has this promise for all of the believers:

“O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.”

The amazing thing that was it was announced that when Sarah would conceive a son, she laughed in unbelief.  She actually didn’t think it was possible.

Genesis 18 –

And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.

And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”

It is better to laugh in unbelief then to cry in unbelief, but all in all it leads to the glory of God, and I still say it is better to laugh.  There is a mention of people who cried in unbelief, too.

Luke 24 –

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[e]

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Cleopas and his friends were rebuked for being sad, but Sarah was not rebuked, the Lord just made apparent what she was actually saying and her intentions.
Imagine if someone deposited into your bank account, $1 billion dollars, and you got a note from your bank that said that you had that kind of money in your bank account.  Would you believe it?  You would probably be in amazement as Sarah was and this was something considered impossible in those days.

Sometimes even with healings, because we have all these doctors and medicines, it is hard for us to actually believe in miracles these days.  It’s hard for us to believe in healings, even though we have these promises.  Sometimes we settle for the status quo because that’s all we can see, but we know that faith is not by sight.

For Sarah it was impossible to conceive the son in the natural, but supernaturally, she gave birth to the heir of a great nation and through his seed, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Prince of Peace, the and only living Son of God, was born.

I don’t know what kind of trials you are going through, or tribulation you are going through, but just remember you have a promise of laughter, and even that you have to make a decision to take hold and seize the laughter.

You have to choices, you can either laugh or cry, and we have a better choice in laughter.

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[d] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bearing Fruit in the Kingdom of God

We have this gardener who came and planted a blueberry plant, and then he came back and he said the other day that he had to remove that plant because it was not bearing fruit.  It really spoke to me because I found this verse.

John 15

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

It is very important to bear fruit for the kingdom of God, and we cannot do this without Jesus.  We need His help and without the pride coming in saying, it is my own sufficiency which comes in and does this, but there are fruits that must be cultivated and maintained in the Kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We all have these areas to work on and to develop the character and nature in God, but we must be careful that when we are developing the fruit of longsuffering, that we do not lose the fruit of joy, love, peace, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Jesus is patient with us to see which way we will turn out, but when He sees that we are not bearing fruit in the last days, then we are at threat of having everything we so longingly desire being taken away from us.  One of the key things to focus on is Love.  Love and Longsuffering are tied together, and I am sorry to say it, but it’s true.  When we are suffering long, we may become tired and worn out, and exhausted if we do not abide in Jesus, so when you see yourself falling into that trap, then the best thing to do is spend some time, which fruit can you work on improving more.  The 9 fruit gift of the Holy Spirit is a chained link which is tied together and whenever there is one that is strong, it can help sustain, all that are weak, but the most important one is love.  Love protects the breastplate of righteousness, and joy protects the Helmet of Salvation, Peace protects the Gospel of peace, and the rest also help prepare you with the Armor of God.  When you are going through the difficult times, remember love is a choice, not a feeling or an emotion, you choose to forgive, you choose to love, you choose to have joy, and through trials you choose to have patience, but sometimes patience, is the fruit that is hardest to develop.  Sometimes in life there are difficulties and trials, but through testing of your faith, that produces of patience, and patience, produces, character, and character produces hope.  Sometimes, we don’t see the hope in our situation, so then we wallow in self-pity and murmur and complain, but then we can choose to have joy and not complain and yearn to seek ourselves, but to allow Christ to work in us though we may be living examples of Christ.  And even though we may struggle from time to time because no man is perfect, even the anointed body, we still have this treasure in earthen vessels, which is the glory of God and Christ living in us.  So we must be careful, and I believe that this plant that was taken away because that it does not bear fruit, is a reminder, of how we must train and develop and mature not to just accept our former selves and love our outward man, but to go and remember that it is the soul and the spirit of a man that God looks after and cherishes, and that He cares for and tenderly nourishes.  So if you can’t cultivate one fruit, then cultivate more than one fruit.  And with that you will have patience.  There is no Law against the fruit of the Spirit, but the Law of Love, so if you are not operating out of love then ask yourself, what can you do to see the best of the person.  Allow God to transform you and to work in you to make you into what He created you to be, and don’t wallow in self-pity and discouragement because of trials and circumstances, and try to pursue these things, which are the nature of what Christ is called us to have.  Have love, Have joy, and Have peace, but most of all don’t have pride, because pride in saying that I don’t need to change and pursue these things, will lead to destruction, and God doesn’t want that.  Thank God for what you do have, and build up the nature of the fruit of the Spirit in life.  We may not understand what it actually takes to be like Jesus, but Jesus had to submit to His Father’s will, and that caused Him great anxiety, and stress, but in the end He gave up His will for His Father’s will, and we must do the same.