We all need a good sense of humour! "A merry heart doeth good like medicine!" God created us with a sense of humour and the ability to laugh at things that are funny. So I'm sure HE HIMSELF HAS A SENSE OF HUMOUR, especially when I look at some of the things and people He has created and the funny situations He lets them get into. Someone has said that a sense of humour is the ability to see the funny side of a serious situation and to laugh at things when they're not the way they ought to be.
There is such a thing as being too serious and sober about some things and taking some things TOO seriously, especially yourself! The ability to LAUGH AT YOURSELF and YOUR OWN SILLY MISTAKES is a good asset and HELPS KEEP YOU HUMBLE. But he who can't laugh at his own mistakes or take the mistakes of others with a sense of humour either has too much pride or too severe a sense of life. God intended for us to ENJOY LIVING and He has given us the ability, the senses and the environment to enjoy it, including Himself, and our main purpose in life, as Martin Luther said, is "to LOVE GOD and ENJOY HIM FOREVER!"--And I might add, to HELP OTHERS ENJOY LIFE by helping them to do the same by telling them of God's Love and the HAPPY life we live together!
So God created you to enjoy the life He's given you and to love and enjoy Him forever and to try to help others to do the same! Even the martyrs didn't die sadly or sorrowfully, but singing and shouting and praising God! If there's anything in this World we're supposed to be, it's a HAPPY people, because we've got more to be HAPPY about than anybody else in the World! We have THE HAPPY LOVE OF JESUS WHO TAKES ALL OUR BURDENS, CARRIES ALL OUR CARES, even lightens our sorrows; and even of our service for Him He says that HIS YOKE IS EASY and HIS BURDEN IS LIGHT, and that IT IS THE WAY OF THE TRANSGRESSOR THAT'S HARD! If you're finding His yoke too hard or the burden of His Service too heavy to bear, then maybe you're transgressing by not obeying Him, not casting all your cares upon Jesus, for He careth for you. "CAST THY BURDEN ON THE LORD and He shall sustain thee."--Psa.55:22. You're trying to carry too much and pull too hard! Let go and let God! Let Jesus do it! Don't work so hard! Just let the Lord do it through you. MAYBE YOU'RE TRYING TOO HARD INSTEAD OF LETTING GOD do it by His power, His Love, His grace and His strength! We're not the Christian ENDEAVOUR Union!--We're not "Christian TRIERS," but "LORD LETTERS!" For without Him we are nothing and can of our own selves do nothing!
So quit trying so hard! Let go and let God! Take it easy! Quit working so hard in your own strength! Quit taking yourself so seriously! Stop and praise the Lord and have a good laugh at your own weaknesses and ridiculous inabilities to do anything or accomplish anything for the Lord, knowing that if anything's going to get done, it's the Lord that's got to do it through you!
So relax! Quit trying so hard in your own strength! God wants you to be happy! Cheer up! Things could be a lot worse and they probably will be, but why worry about it now! "FRET NOT THYSELF FOR TOMORROW! Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!" I heartily agree with the young man who wrote me that we need to have more of a sense of humour, to be able to laugh at something funny and mostly ourselves, instead of, as he put it, practicing with balls and chains and thumbscrews today so we'll be able to bear them tomorrow! That's not the way God does things! He doesn't make you try to practice suffering today what you're going to have to suffer tomorrow. He says, "SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF!" You're not to add more to it in preparation for tomorrow or to try to toughen yourself up for more evil tomorrow! But you're to ENJOY today and take things as they come and LET TOMORROW TAKE CARE OF ITSELF! "As thy day, so shall thy strength be!" God gives you POWER FOR THE HOUR, grace for the trial--AT the hour and WHEN it comes--NOT BEFORE! So don't worry about it! WHEN YOU'RE WEAK, THEN YOU'RE STRONG, and HIS STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN YOUR WEAKNESS. For HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, and He takes the WEAK THINGS TO CONFOUND THE MIGHTY and the foolish things to confound the wisdom of the wise. For He has not revealed these things unto the wise and prudent, but unto babes. YOU GOTTA BE A BABY!
You oughta absolutely crack up laughing at yourself and how ridiculous you are instead of trying to be too sober and taking yourself too seriously. If He can use you and me, He could even use Balaam's ass!--And He did!--Or even cause the rocks to cry out.--And He has! For He has raised up of these stones children unto Abraham! Hallelujah!
So for God's sake and His Work's sake and your own sake and especially for the sake of those around you, don't try so hard and take yourself so seriously! It's gotta be God or we'll never make it! That's why He picked us!--And that's why they marvel, beholding the man, and that it's only because we've been with Jesus that we can do these things! They know it's a miracle of God that has changed our lives from the fearful freaks we once were to THE HAPPY-GO-LORDY JESUS FREAKS we are today!
Why not have a good laugh at yourself and admit that it's God that's doing it all through you! I once knew a dear old missionary who had evangelised the forbidden country of Tibet for twenty-five years, but I marvelled at his humility, his grace and blithely cheerful spirit. I thought what a great man he was and what a great work he had done and how famous he should have been, and yet here he was doing dishes with me for the rest of the kids. So I asked him a question which I considered he of all people ought to know and since I was planning to be a missionary myself, I asked him: "WHAT DO YOU THINK A MISSIONARY NEEDS THE MOST?"--expecting some solemn and profound answer from his greatly superior wisdom and vast wealth of years of experience. So you can imagine how shocked I was when he said simply, pausing with his hands in the sink and looking at me with a sly smile: "A SENSE OF HUMOUR!--TO BE ABLE TO LAUGH WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE CRYING!" He said that, often, under the almost unbearable tension of the most frightening circumstances, a good laugh nearly saved their lives and their nerves! After all, if you know the Lord's going to take care of it somehow, you can afford to smile and to laugh at how impossible the situation is, how ridiculous the circumstances, and you know GOD'S GOTTA DO A MIRACLE! SO WHY NOT LAUGH ABOUT IT?
God likes to do things differently and in many ways that to us are downright ridiculous, seemingly impossible and outright laughable, just to show His power, that He's not bound by conventions, traditions, customs, the System or any kind of impossibilities! IT'S REALLY FUNNY THE WAY GOD RUNS THINGS, especially us! WE'RE ONE GREAT BIG JOKE to the rest of the World and they come to laugh at us, but sometimes wind up crying because they're not as happy as we are and because we're laughing louder than they are in our hearts and lives and happy service for the Lord!
If there was ever a saint who was one of the greatest soul winners I ever knew and who had some marvellous gifts of the Spirit and for whom God performed many mighty miracles, it was MY OWN MOTHER!--AND YET SHE WAS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST WOMEN I EVER KNEW, keeping us constantly in stitches and sometimes literally doubled up in laughter at some of her funny antics, peculiarities, absentmindedness and sense of humour! There was nothing she enjoyed as much as A GOOD JOKE ON HERSELF! She used to say, "I guess GOD MADE ME SO FUNNY JUST TO SHOW WHAT HE CAN DO WITH SOMEONE AS RIDICULOUS AS I AM!"
However we DO have other things to do besides laugh! But for God's sake, laugh while you're doing them! And most of all, like Grandmother, be able to laugh at yourself and have a good joke on yourself, because YOU'RE THE FUNNIEST THING GOD EVER MADE and YOU COULDN'T BE ANY MORE RIDICULOUS! As this young man who wrote me about the need for some jokes in the newspaper said: "We need a little more HUMOURILIATION!"
Humour certainly does help to humble you! There's nothing like the humiliation of a good joke on yourself to help keep us from getting so self-righteous and so super-sober that we can't enjoy a good joke on ourselves and can't see how funny we are and what a joke we are and what a good laugh God must get out of us and what He's doing with us and how HE'S SHAKING UP THE WHOLE WORLD THROUGH THIS LITTLE BUNCH OF SILLY KIDS! What a joke! What a laugh we are!
So for God's sake, why don't you break down that stupid self-righteous pride of yours and laugh at yourself--at how ridiculous and foolish you are to think you can save the World, when it's only GOD that's doing it THROUGH you, showing that even the FOOLISHNESS of God is greater than the WISDOM of men. Have a good laugh at all your troubles! It'll do you good and it'll do God good, because it'll show Him you're not worried but you're still trusting Him!
We all need a good laugh! Have a sense of humour! Keep humble with good humour! Laugh at yourself! Just DON'T OVERDO IT, AS THERE'S A TIME FOR EVERYTHING. THERE'S A TIME TO LAUGH and A TIME TO WEEP--A TIME FOR EVERYTHING. But let's always be able to SMILE THROUGH OUR TEARS--A RAY OF SUNSHINE is even more beautiful IN THE MIDST OF RAIN. Let's have a little more SUNSHINE and LAUGHTER and NOT SO MUCH GLOOM and DOOM! Instead of giving them SO MUCH HELL, let's give them A LITTLE MORE HEAVEN! "Laugh and the World will laugh with you!--Cry, and you'll cry alone!"
The World knows enough Hell! Let's show them a little more Heaven!--"Love and laughter and peace ever after", and that TODAY you can be free! Hallelujah! PTL! Amen? Let's have some HOLY LAUGHTER! LAUGH IN THE SPIRIT! "REJOICE and BE EXCEEDING GLAD, for great is your reward in Heaven!"
So let's be happy! Amen? Or maybe you'd rather be stubborn and contrary like old Jenny the mule: After a Sunday of "No's" and "Don'ts" at his long-faced, church-bound, super-strict Grandfather's where he wasn't allowed to play on Sunday, poor little Johnny wandered wistfully out to the barnyard and stroked Jenny's long nose, saying, "Dear Jenny, you must be AWFULLY RELIGIOUS, YOU HAVE SUCH A LONG FACE, just like Grandfather's!"--That's the CHURCHES' idea of religion!--Please don't let it be OURS!
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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