The Laugh of Faith Part 1
What a lot of dry-bone religion there is! Go and stand at the door of almost any place of worship, and watch the faces of those who enter. How many look as if they were going there for enjoyment? Honestly! Do not the vast majority look as though they were going rather to a funeral than to a feast? To the dentist rather than to God,my exceeding joy? That’s just reverence, says somebody.Oh, indeed!yes, sir, and a lack of reverence is one of the chief sins of today.Agreed, irreverence is a great sin, but what is reverence? Surely not a long or gloomy face! True reverence is obedience, and disobedience is irreverence in its worst form. Court, not fancy, dress is required when one enters the KING’S presence; and the Court dress prescribed by THE KING HIMSELF and published in His orders is JOY.O come, let us sing. Let us make a joyful noise, Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving, Let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.Thus should all loyal subjects appear before their KING.
Look at the smile on the faces of the sons of Korah as they go to church singing:How lovely, how pleasant are Thy tabernacles O Lord of Hosts.My soul longeth, yea, even fainted, for the courts of the Lord.My heart and my flesh sing for joy unto the Living God.Where the heart thus sings the face must needs dance for joy.As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after Thee,O God.My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.Watch David as he enters his pew, the joy on his face says audibly,One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His Temple; and here I am satisfied.
The wise men came to the house where Jesus was, rejoicing with exceeding great joy.Of course! Had they not seen His star? And were they not sure that He was inside the house? Faith was the cause. Joy is the child of faith, and the fruit of the Spirit of God.Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith sees the Son, and the Son gives a sunny countenance.
The Lord is a Great God, and loves to do great things for His people, and when He does them, their tongues are filled with singing and their mouths with laughter, while all men see that they are glad.
Faith has a large familyLaughter is another of his children.The laugh of Faith is a merry child brightening every heart and home that entertains his parent.
There are two children bearing the name of Laughter, but born of different parents and wholly unrelated.
The one is the child of Faith, the other the child of Doubt.
The one is the laugh of Joy, the other the laugh of Scorn.
The one is the child of God, but the other that of the Devil.
Abraham laughed the laugh of faith, but Sarah the laugh of Doubt, but, experiencing a sudden conversion, she later produced and enjoyed the fruit of Faith, bearing a child and calling him Laughter (Isaac).
The wise woman of Proverbs laughed of the times to come, having faith in God, and so in the good times coming.
The minstrels of Jairus laughed the laugh of scorn, doubting the Son of God, and were promptly turned out of the house, thus losing the presence of Jesus Christ and the wonderful sight of a resurrection from the dead.The Athenians laughed the laugh of doubt on hearing of the Resurrection of Christ, and so lost the Apostle Paul and their best chance of Salvation.
The laugh of Faith abides for ever, but the laugh of doubt or scorn dies of fear and shame at the Judgment Day or at the Throne of God, if not before.
Faith is a Microscope revealing the things of earth as they really are, and not as they seem to be; a Telescope magnifying the things of God and Heaven; an Eye Specialist giving sight to the blind: aye! and Faith is the greatest Humorist alive, the Drollest of the Droll; he would conjure a laugh out of an Egyptian mummy, could he only get inside.
Faith makes all the difference in a man’s life and death. Look at that man about to diehe has no faith, he may die game; as they say, but where is Joy. He dies as a candle goes out, flickering, flickering, and failing, as the end of a thing at auction.Going! Going!! Gone!!!
No comfort there, no hope, no peace, no joy, and no laugh, but that of the devils of hell at the expense of yet another of their dupes. How different had he but had faith.No place this for a child, you say.Of course not, for where there is no faith, there is only gloom, and gloom is poison to children.
But look at that man there! He is also nearing the gates of death and knows it. No, doctor you are surely mistaken, he can’t be dying, his face is so bright and his heart so full of joy, he talks like a maid on her wedding morn when she is going to find her heart.
I assure you, sir, he has but a few hours to live.
What drug then has made him take this turn?
Or is he out of his mind?
No, it’s just the result of a dose of Faith,
Clearing the eyes of the blind.
He says he doesn’t want to live.
At least not here on earth,
For, though poor here, hes over there
A prince by his second birth.
He’s going to court to see his KING,
And wear a crown of gold;
A sheep in the arms of the Shepherd Good
Entering the fold!
Ho! bring my children in to see
This grand and glorious sight,
Of death transformed to Paradise,
By faith in the Lord of Light.
Have you no fear? said the surgeon to a very fragile lady on whom they were about to perform a very dangerous operation, being amazed at her great composure.Oh, no, she replied,for God is with me, and has promised to see me through.What turned fear into good cheer? Care into comfort? And gloom into glory? Just simple faith. Faith sees God and hey presto all is well.
Have you long been a Christian? I once asked a doctor.No, I was an unbeliever until a few years ago.What made you become a Christian?Seeing many deathbeds, he replied.It so happened that the duty of telling patients that their case was hopeless, and that their days were numbered, very frequently devolved on me, and I observed that while some feared and others were brave and died game, the Christians were filled with joy as though I had told them some piece of rare good news. Assured that the faith that could do that must be the true one, I became a Christian.
Do you see that man there? He has lots of money but just now he has got to part with a comparatively small sum; it wont make any direct difference to his style of living, and he will hardly have to deny himself one of his wonted luxuries, yet there he goes with woe depicted on his face, as though he was about to have four wisdom teeth extracted at one go, and that without gas.What is the matter with him? He has not Faith.This world is his all; to lose anything is a dire calamity; poor rich man!
But look at this merry fellow! He’s well on in years, but frolicsome as a schoolboy; he is laughing from morn till night; he laughs at everything and with everybody; at danger, disease, death, devil, and all; he’s a centre of perpetual mirth; some of the straiter sect of the Pharisees take upon themselves at times to reprove him, affirming that perpetual mirth ill becomes a Christian, to which he replies that he really cant help it, that the leopard can’t change his spots, that the fruit of the Spirit is joy, that Paul commanded his converts to rejoice always, and that the Lord Jesus Himself told His disciples that He spoke to them that their joy might be full.Was this fellow always thus? Or how did he become so?No, but when he was young he read in a certain Book that Jesus once told a rich man that, if he wished to have a good time on earth, he should part with his all, give to the poor and then come and follow HIM, but that the young man begrudged to obey; and that Book added that as a result the man went away sorrowful. So this young gambler said he’d like to try to see what would be the result to the man who dared to do as Jesus said! He promptly did it.These are the odd results, a merry heart, a continual feast, and perpetual mirth, instead of a gloomy old age.He’s a chronic inebriate, a regular soaker, quite incurable, ever drunk with joy, he has frequent attacks of D.G. No. not D.T. ("Delirium gaudeus, the medical term for unspeakable joy), he always seems to be seeing a lot of things that other folks don’t see.He persists, too, in turning all prudent counsels into fun, and laughs fit to burst himself (at the humour of the thing as he calls it) when he observes the grave faces of his shocked friends.
When they tell him that he will bring himself and his family into want or starvation if he doesn’t look out, he replies that he is so busy looking up that he has no time to look out, that his Father does the looking out, and He is so good a Coachman that he sees no sense in fear or in taking the reins out of His hands; yet everybody knows his father has been dead these many years: finally, he’ll tell you with great gusto a queer story about a certain five loaves, two fishes, 5,000 men, and twelve baskets, and then affirm that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
If the doctors positively forbid his going to some feverstricken land or he will never come back to laugh again, he is sure to go there (he always leaves with a hurrah and a laugh) and is certain to return to chaff the doctors about their being but false prophets after all; yet he does it with such a whimsical laugh and merry twinkle in his eyes, that the doctors laugh too and remain among his best friends.He says it’s Faith that does the tricksimple Faith in Jesus Christ.
The only time I ever saw him look really sober was when he was solemnly declaring and proving to some of the longheaded gang that all things are possible to him that believeth.My! said he, afterwards.How they shook their heads and ears; if they had not had such stiff necks, I believe their heads would have come off and rolled on the floor, and their ears should have enabled them to fly ; but then he added:If they hadn’t been stiff-necked they would not have shaken their heads. He says he doesn’t believe nearly so much in having a Merry Christmas as in being a merry Christian. He’s a sort of Mr. Christian-Punch.
He readily admits hes a top-hole fool, and reckons himself to be only about on par with a bird, and then he has to choke down a laugh before adding with a very audible chuckle that his Father feeds the birds of the air; as regards clothes he says he always expects at the very least to be clad as well or better than King Solomon was, less gaudily, perhaps, but neater.
He insists on turning everything upside down and inside out, and says,That is what every Christian ought to be doing, for did not the Apostles turn even the world upside down?
He will assure you that the wisdom of this world is folly, and there’s no such thing as death, that he really died many years ago, and that instead of dying again he’s going to live for ever and ever elsewhere, that he’s only staying down here in mufti so to speak, till his town house is properly prepared and furnished, and yet everybody knows that if you gave him a town house he couldn’t afford to live in it.
Sometimes he will tell you with a sort of knowing Stock Exchange wink that he knows of an unbreakable bank which gives all depositors 10,000 per cent, a hundredfold he calls it, though, all things considered, there are wonderfully few large depositors in it up to the present time, doubtless because the world and the Church are mostly filled with faithless folk who don’t believe the promises of Christ.Of course nobody believes what he says, and all go away tapping their foreheads with their first fingers, saying,Poor old chap! What a pity!
Now if another man was to suggest he knew a sound going concern that would give 20 per cent, everybody would be running after him and inviting him to dinner to try to pump the secret out of him. It’s a wonderful thing is Faith; it changes a man’s vision, face, brain, heart and desires; in fact, Faith makes a man into a New Creation, and its sober fact that the laugh of Faith is the merriest laugh there is.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 21 No 3
- Speaking The Word of Faith
- Editor’s Note
- A Miracle of Small Stones
- A Vision For Zerubbabel
- Tape Talk
- Modern Man and the Ultimate Question
- Two Common Misunderstandings
- Living in the Promised Land
- BIBLE STUDY: Sin, Satan, and the Flesh
- School Days
- To Think About
- Powerless over Alcohol and Life: Step 10
- Letters From Norman
- A Priceless Inheritance
- Words To Live By
- The Laugh of Faith Part 1