There’s great hope for believers who are afflicted on this earth. The word “relief” used here originally meant “the relief of tension on a bowstring,” or to let up, or release, from tension and troubles.
There are multitudes of hurting believers who are going through long trials due to difficult situations. Many problems seem to last a lifetime, even when they are daily turned over to the Lord. Yet God gives us a future and a hope.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” —Jeremiah 29:11
He promises that in the worst-case situation, we can still have hope as we look to the future because we will one day have eternal relief/rest from every affliction. And God wants us to always be looking for that future “great release.”
. . . fixing our eyes on Jesus . . . —Hebrews 12:2
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. —Colossians 3:2
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18
My wife and I have a question that we hope doesn’t sound irreverent. Since we are made in God’s image, and we like to laugh, does God laugh? If God does laugh, what does He laugh about? Does He have the angels doubling over in laughter?
God created us in His own image and the characteristics we have are designed by God for His glory.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female . . . —Genesis 1:27
Laughter is an outward expression of inward happiness. Since true happiness is from God, true laughter is from God.
Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me . . .” —Genesis 21:6
A time to weep and a time to laugh; —Ecclesiastes 3:4
(God) will fill your mouth with laughter . . . —Job 8:21
But since we have a sin nature, sometimes we sin when we laugh:
. . . let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. —James 4:9
. . . Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep . . . —Luke 6:25
. . . the laughter of the fool. —Ecclesiastes 7:6
. . . I have become a laughingstock all day long;
Everyone mocks me. —Jeremiah 20:7
God does laugh.
But You, O Lord, laugh at them; —Psalm 59:8
He who sits in the heavens laughs . . . —Psalm 2:4
But, it seems a bit irreverent to imagine God telling the angels, “Have you heard the one about the two traveling salesangels? . . .”
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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