Sunday, July 13, 2014

Laugh in the Midst of Hardships

Many of my friends have told me that they are full of fear about the times we are facing in this country.

They assume that because the people whom they wanted to elect did not get elected, that they are doomed to suffer with the bad policies of the people in office.

What does the Bible say about believers like us?

Let's took a look at Isaac, the son of Promise whom God blessed on Abraham and Sarah, the Father and Mother of many, whose bodies were dead and did not believe they would ever have a child.

"And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. " (Genesis 21:1-3)

The LORD comes through, as He promises to, regardless of whether we fret or fuss. The only thing that delayed Isaac coming, in a sense, was Abram and Sarai's efforts (notice before their names were changed) to have a kid through the servant girl Hagar.

Isaac's name means "laughter":

"6And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21: 6-7)

Isaac is a child of promise, the stronger son who carried the wood up Mount Moriah (Genesis 22), who was not afraid to lie down on the altar, even though he was strong enough that he could have subdued his own father and prevented him from laying him on the wood.

Isaac not only came back down the mount, but served as a figure for Christ Jesus, the Beloved Son of God who was given for us.

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Hebrews 11: 17-19)

Now, let us take another look at Isaac, and how God so richly blessed him:

"21And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD." (Genesis 25: 21-22)

Unlike Abraham, who went into a servant girl to try and force God's will, Isaac . . asked God. Just like that, and Rebekah not only conceived, but she had twins.


When a terrible famine broke out in the land, Isaac almost went down to Egypt.

The LORD intervened:

"And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." (Genesis 26: 1-5)

God promised to bless Isaac not because of Isaac, but because of his father Abraham.

There's a famine, but so what? You and I are descendants of Abraham, too, and we can rest in the covenant which God cut with Abraham, for we are all blessed through His seed, Jesus!:

"6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (Galatians 3: 6-9)


"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3: 29)

You are blessed because of God, not because of the weather. You are blessed because of Jesus, not because of yourself:

Isaac in Gerar
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. " (Ephesians 1: 3-6)


Isaac did not make the first mistake which his father Abraham had made, in that he stayed where God told him to.

But. . .

"6And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: 7And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon." (Genesis 26: 6-7)

We have heard this story before. Abram lied about his wife Sarai, twice! Yet God blessd him.

As for Isaac, his deception was uncovered even worse:

"8And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife." (Genesis 26: 8)

The King of the Philistines literally witnessed Isaac "laughing" with his wife, the original word rendered by "sporting".

Isaac was being himself, and he was intimate with his wife: a much more unseemly exposure of the deception, as opposed to the dream which God had given to Abimelech (Genesis 20: 3)

"9And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her. 10And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. 11And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." (Genesis 26: 6-11)

Isaac opened wells
Even though Isaac's deception was found out, and he had feared that he was going to be killed, nothing happened to him, neither from God or man.

The favor of God will never leave us, even when we sin. Laugh!

So, there was famine in the land. Does that mean that Isaac had to settle for a meager harvest? Not at all:

"12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him." (Genesis 26: 12-14)

So, no matter who may surround you, no matter what the circumstances you may face, because you are a child of God, because you are in Christ as His own Son (1 John 3: 1-3; 4 17), you can trust in God your father's favor, and know that nothing will hold you back.

Laugh in the midst of hardships, child of God! He is with you and prospering you in your journey!

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