When you hear people laughing, what’s the first thing you want to do? You wanna join them, don’t you? I sure do. Another question: What’s something that terrifies both Christians and unbelievers alike? Witnessing. Telling others what God has done for you. Do you ever feel that way?
I had the privilege of speaking to 400 women in Niagara Falls. Not in the falls, but you know what I mean. I’ve always found it ironic to be asked to speak at ladies’ conventions. Back in high school when I desperately wanted to speak with women, they wouldn’t give me the time of day, nor would they return my calls. Now that I’m a happily married balding man, I’m asked all the time to speak with them, and it’s a joy. It’s always been a dream of mine to be in a room filled with ladies—with all of them listening to me. When I told the women in Niagara Falls this, they laughed. In fact, we laughed a lot together as I talked about kids, tough times, and Jesus. On the Sunday morning a few minutes after I began, I couldn’t help but notice a gentleman who snuck into the room and sat at the back. I think we were the only guys there.
Afterward, he came to me and told me his story; “I play in the bar band in the hotel,” he said. “We played until 2 am, but I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I got up and walked around. I heard laughter so I asked one of the ladies if I could come in. She said sure. I couldn’t believe when I found out you were a bunch of Christians,” he said. “I always thought of church as being so somber!”
He held up a sheet of paper and showed me that he’d been taking notes, writing down Bible verses and then he said this; “My parents live in Boston. They’ve been praying for me for years that I’d come to Jesus. Their prayers were answered this morning.”
I’m always amazed and grateful when God does what He does best—make people aware of how awesome He is. And yes, sometimes God even uses laughter to bring people to Himself.
Laughter is a liberating and powerful magnet to the Kingdom of God. I’ve seen it when I speak. Humour breaks down barriers and smuggles ideas into people’s hearts like few vehicles I know.
In the Book of Acts, you notice how many times the word joy is used as the church explodes with growth. Peter, in his famous Acts 2 sermon, quotes the Psalmist; “You will fill me with joy in Your presence.” Saul was dragging believers off to prison, trying to destroy the church, but Acts 8 tells us that there was great joy in that city. Acts 14 has Barnabas and Paul telling the crowd that God has shown Himself to them in 3 ways. He’s given them rain from heaven and crops in their seasons. He also provides them with plenty of food and fills their hearts with joy.
Has God filled you with joy? Make sure it overflows. Laughter is a gift we’ve ignored too long in reaching out to others. Make sure you open this gift and pass it around today!