Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,” says the Lord.
This is one of the most fascinating scriptures in the Bible. God is telling a woman who was unmarried and barren to break forth into singing because the number of her children was going to be greater than that of a married woman. Prophetically this verse is speaking about how the Gentiles who weren’t in covenant with the Lord would have more sons and daughters than the Jewish people who were. This prophecy has been fulfilled during the church age as the sons and daughters of the Gentiles – Christians – have far exceeded the sons and daughters of the Jewish people (see Galatians 4:27).
How did this miracle happen? When this prophecy was given, Israel was in captivity, the Gentiles were living pagan lives and barren, and the church didn’t exist. It looked impossible! There is a principle contained in this scripture that explains how this barren woman became fruitful that still applies to you and me today when we feel barren. The principle is to laugh….and here is the hard part….laugh before we see the breakthrough.
Why does God want to us to laugh before the breakthrough? Basically, it comes down to the fact that the kingdom of heaven operates on the principle of faith. And faith acts (see James 2:24). One of the primary acts of faith for any of us when we believe one of God’s promises is to rejoice or laugh. Think about it, if God told you He was going to give you a million dollars and you really believed Him, what would you do? You would rejoice. You may shout for joy, laugh in shock, or cry tears of happiness, but if you really believed Him, there would be an action of joy.
Sometimes in the midst of a long season of barrenness, it can feel very hard to laugh. We see our need, see God’s promise and we pray and we wait. And wait. And wait some more. And pray some more and wait some more. This can often cause us to get real serious about the situation and try to diagnose what’s going on and why we aren’t receiving the promise. Are we really not in faith? Is there is a demonic hindrance? Do we have any unknown sin hindering God? The delay can often cause us to carry a lot of cares and get very stressed out. Sound familiar?
Abraham went through that when believing for a promise. God promised him at 75 that he would be the father of many nations even though he didn’t have any children yet. Both he and his wife, Sarah, were past child-bearing age. It seemed like an impossible promise. In the midst of the waiting they got so stressed out they tried to scheme and help God which caused Sarah to give her handmaiden to Abraham as a surrogate mom. That produced a child named Ismael whose lineage ended up becoming the enemies of the Jewish people. The stress from a delayed promise caused them to do something foolish they ultimately regretted.
Years after Ismael was born, when Abraham was 99, God appeared to him and said He was going to multiply his decedents exceedingly. Abraham thought God was going to bring the increase through Ismael, however, God told him it was going to come through another child born through Sarah. This child’s name was Isaac, which means laughter. God prophesied laughter into Abrahams’s situation before the increase came. Why? Because laughter often proceeds the breakthrough. He needed Abraham to chill out and relax because the kingdom of heaven isn’t stress, anxiety, and striving. It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
If Abraham would have stayed in stress and anxiety, it would have hindered his ability to believe God. The same is true for you and me today. When we are going through challenging situations we have to learn to laugh at the problems, laugh at the hindrances, and laugh at the devil. When we laugh, we begin to get God’s perspective on the situation. This is why Psalms 2:4 says He who sits in the heavens shall laugh. God laughs because God isn’t stressed out. Our need isn’t so big that He can’t meet it. Whatever challenge we are going through, it’s no big deal for Jesus! I want to encourage you to laugh today. Laugh in the midst of the challenges and laugh before the breakthrough. God’s got you and He is going to come through so relax and enjoy the journey!