Why does crying mean that God is touching hearts but laughter doesn’t? What’s wrong with this picture? The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus loved righteousness and hated evil and had “exultant joy and gladness” above and beyond His companions.” (Heb.1:9 AMP) And doesn’t it also say that there’s righteousness, peace, and joy in the Kingdom of God? (Rom.14:17) It says nothing about crying for Jesus. Beating yourself up is not a fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23). And, by the way, Jesus was a “Man of sorrows” on the other side of the cross, not this one. He was only acquainted with grief; He didn’t live in it.
Now, I am not against crying at all. I’m just wondering why we consider it holy and laughing not. And I fully understand that there’s a place for repentant tears when you experience the crazy goodness of God, and that you can also cry tears of joy. I have cried tears of joy many times as I have encountered the overwhelming love of God. But I have also laughed my head off uncontrollably, which is equally God. Of course, I understand it’s not very dignified.
I think the devil hates laughter. But he doesn’t hate our crying. Especially, if it paralyses and disempowers us, keeping us focused on who we aren’t instead of who we are in Christ. And which would glorify God more…our continual mourning and weeping over our failures or our enthusiastic joy? It is the joy of the Lord that’s our strength, right? (Neh.8:10) I’m just saying…
But what really is sad is that so many beloved sons and daughters of God don’t ever have a tangible encounter with Him except those times when their self-condemnation gets the best of them and they take their periodic trip to the altar to “get right with God.” Get right with God? Didn’t we do that when we gave our life to Him? What does that mean exactly? And I am not against going to God. We should be there all the time. My point is that, for too many beloved children of God, conviction of sin will bring an encounter with Him but He isn’t felt in an everyday fullness of joy sort of way. This is what Jesus paid for…what’s available to us 24/7. Really.
It seems to me that we identify much more with living like helpless victims, with Old Testament-type sorrows and weeping more than we do living from the place of continual victory in the joy of living His life (2 Cor.2:14; Gal.2:20). Living His life is what it’s supposed to mean to live the Christian life.
Job is not our example, Jesus is. Welcome to the New Testament.
Jesus is trying to convince us against our notion of better judgment that the whole point of abiding in Him with the Father means fullness of joy.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn.15:11)
And “abiding” simply means to stay where you’ve been put…in Christ. You can’t get there; you can only stay there. It’s not in your doing for God, it’s in your being in God. The feeling of distance does not come from a spiritual reality but from what’s going on between your ears.
Yes, I know, Jesus promised us trouble in this world (Jn.16:33). But do we get the whole point of His statement here? He goes on to say we’re to “take heart” because He overcame this world…and we’re in Him! And even in the midst of our trials, we’re supposed to count it all…uh…joy. (Jas.1:2) Are we seeing a pattern here yet?
So, here’s the deal. It’s legal to be really happy about all of this. Really. Maybe you just need to loosen up a little bit and not take yourself so seriously. Maybe not. Either way, it should be instructive that the word, “gospel” means “news that brings GREAT JOY!” Let’s try that for awhile.
Anyway, I hope I made you smile today. Your Papa God is always smiling over you!