“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” – Psalm 126:5
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” – Luke 6:21
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” – Eccelesiastes 3:4
Those who “weep” (klaiontes) may be those who carry the burden not only of personal grief but of a hurting society. Such was the commentary given by Liefeld on Luke 6:21 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, © 1984.
I cannot agree more with Liefeld’s remarks. Even though I have had some relatively difficult life passages in the past, I have not borne burdens that were so burdensome, that were enough to break me … until I started out as a minister in a church. When individuals or families in the church suffer, I suffer, and I feel it. I automatically shared the burden, and my heart laments on those burdens…
I remember one Saturday afternoon, I was sitting on the porch of my apartment – supposedly enjoying the nice weather and greenery before me, as my wind chimes were tinkling in the afternoon winds – I was actually crying out, “Lord, how much can a heart bears?… How can my little heart bear that much burden of that many church members?… Have You mistaken about my capacity as a human?”
But in a recent party at the church, I could laugh from my heart…
The LORD has shown up to fill up for my insufficiency. His rewards are far better than the little trust that I have ever given Him. Like the waters of the ocean, He understands it all. He absorbs it all. Not only that… He refreshes, restores, and renews. He sends me out again with the strength of His joy. A joy that expresses itself in laughter. 😀
Jesus, in His synagogue sermon, spoke of mourning giving way to gladness (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:2b-3a).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18-19
“…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” – Isaiah 61:2-3
Mourning gives way to gladness… What if the mourning is “now,” but the promise of laughter is for the future – “shall laugh”? (check again: Luke 6:21)
Can we claim part of the eschatological (future) joy today?
Yes, we can. While God’s faithful ones might not receive every of His promises this life, we however, shall be able to see and foretaste favorable circumstances that confirm that God has intervened on our behalf.
Moses, for example, was handpicked by God to become a great deliverer for his people, because God wants to act upon the misery of His people. (Exodus 3:7)
Naomi, for example, tasted the “sweetness of life,” after long years of barrenness and bitterness, when the memory of her “locust-eaten” years in the land of Moab was still fresh in mind. As bitter as she could be when life doesn’t make sense, God cares to place His faithful in the genealogy of the Messiah, the Anointed One. (Ruth 4:14-17)
Job received “double blessings,” after experiencing a great lost that was beyond logically understanding. Even though the earthly lose of his first 10 children could never be forgotten, God avows to intervene and overturn the destruction that the Enemy deliberately created. (Job 42:10-17)
“A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench…” – Isaiah 42:3
Another question: Can we claim eschatological joy in the Lord in its entirety today?
Yes, we can. Through the eyes of faith, we can CLAIM IT ALL today.
King David claimed the joy in the Lord with celebration of thanksgiving while he was still an outcast. (Psalm 116:15-16)
The Hebrew patriarch claimed God’s promised joy due to a blissful vision of our heavenly home. (Hebrews 11:13)
God has not promised the skies always blue, but He has promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, and… a time of laughter and celebration!
The Bible teaches that weeping is for a season and laughter is for a season – but joy goes on and on. A count shows that the word “rejoice” appears 199 times in the Bible, and the word “joy” appears 218 times.
Now, would you claim your joy in the Lord? How would you express His joy?
“Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.” – Psalm 119:111
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13
Reference: Devotion on “Laughter & Praise” in worship by Ng Wah Lok http://www.tabernaclemusic.net/index.cfm?menuid=96&parentid=11