When was the last time that you had a really good laugh? Maybe you watched a great comedy over Christmas or perhaps, like our family, you enjoyed playing party games during the festive season providing many laughs as each member invariably competes to win.
It is said that we use far fewer facial muscles to laugh and to smile than we do to frown, so this must tell us that laughter is good for us. Indeed, King Solomon said, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” and “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” So, Biblical wisdom endorses the benefits of a good laugh!
A man was walking through a cemetery on his way home from work when he heard Beethoven’s Third Symphony being played backwards. When it had finished, the Second Symphony started playing backwards, and then also the First Symphony. The man was totally bewildered and finding the grave digger he asked, “What is going on?” “It is Beethoven,” the grave digger replied, “He is decomposing!”
At this time of the year, we are all encouraged to look forward because going back over the past year will not be useful since what is past is past. As my friend Kriss Akabusi says, “The past is for reference, not for residence.” However, as we all begin a new year, will you approach it with laughter or lament?
It is often easy to lament the past and become stuck in its mire of disappointments rather than facing the future with confidence knowing that God has our destiny in his hands. Recently I read again the description of the wife of noble character that King Lemuel speaks about in Proverbs 31. He says, “..she laughs without fear of the future.”(v25NLT) Obviously, this woman had a confident hope that whatever she might have to face in the future, today was a day to be cheerful and to approach her tomorrows with a joyful heart. How ready are you to face 2020 with joy rather than fear?
We have every reason to be cheerful simply because the future is not in our hands. We can laugh without fear of the future because “if God is for us then who can be against us?” We can laugh without fear of the future because “greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.” We can laugh without fear of the future because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” We can laugh without fear of the future because Jesus promised “I will never leave you or abandon you.” We can laugh without fear of the future because “Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” We can laugh without fear of the future because “With God all things are possible.” We can laugh without fear of the future because “By grace we have been saved.”
The future always presents us with a choice. We either allow our history to define our destiny or we consign our past to history knowing that God commands our destiny. In the light of the above, I know how Janice and I plan to embrace this new year.
May 2020 be a year of answered prayers, unexpected miracles, countless salvations, unimaginable favour and God’s rich blessing and joy upon you and your family.
Chair of Southampton ChristiChristian Network