Sunday, August 11, 2013

Questions God Asks #3

God Makes His People Laugh
Has God made you laugh at some challenge or invitation? He certainly made Abraham and then Sarah laugh at a promise. For Sarah to conceive was biologically impossible. She was in her nineties. Abraham had the capacity even though he was one hundred years old. He had already fathered Ishmael. Later after Sarah died he remarried and had six other children.

So when the Lord told him (Genesis 17:17) he would have a son from Sarah why did Abraham laugh in his heart? He had believed the Lord’s promise years ago. Was it becoming too much for him to believe now? When Sarah heard the Lord tell Abraham she would conceive she laughed. The Lord questioned Abraham ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?”’ She tried to deny it, a natural reaction. She did conceive and Isaac was born.

God likes to make His people laugh at some impossible command or mission. As you read the history of the Church it is a recurring theme. God calls upon His disciples to undertake some task which is far beyond them. The possibilities of success are humanly speaking almost zero. However after enjoying what they see as a joke they realise the Lord is serious. They have been commissioned. When you read the story of Christian Missions over the centuries and across the world it is a wonderful story. From laugher at what is impossible the faithful servants bow in awe as the Lord brings it to pass.

I like hearing the testimony of men and women and their encounters with the Lord. Whether they have been self righteous, self satisfied individuals or rampant rebels against God and society God called them to himself. Often they say how people scratched their heads and laughed that God would save such a person. In such situations the Lord likes to help such scoffers ‘eat their words and swallow their laughter.’

Whether calling a person out of sin and judgment or commissioning them to undertake mission impossible God hears people laugh. That’s okay. What the Lord God is doing over and over again is demonstrating His grace and His power. The words ‘Is anything too wonderful (‘hard’ in another translation) for the Lord?’

The Bible is the account of the Lord God doing the impossible. The nation of Israel is an example. Their formation, history, continued existence speak of God keeping His word. There is still more to come for that nation! People laugh at what the Bible promises about this besieged nation today. However once again The Lord says to an unbelieving world ‘Is anything to hard, impossible, wonderful’ to me to do?’ And guess what? He has spelt out His intentions. Don’t let your laughter be one of scorn. It will choke you. Let your laughter be one of amazement and of faith.

The birth and ministry of Jesus the Christ and the impossibility of His rising from the dead repeats the theme. Nothing is beyond the power and Grace of God. The Easter Sunday morning shout is “He is Risen! Christ Jesus has triumphed over sin and death.”
 You may consider it impossible however when you check it out, and ask God to verify it to your heart something wonderful takes place. Doubt gives way to conviction; conviction leads to commitment; commitment leads to the laughter. Laughter leads to a life of discovery with the Lord God of the impossible.

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