Nothing irritates Satan more than us choosing God over our pain and suffering. We can endure everything if we know Jesus is sitting next to us. ~Joni Erickson Tada
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Our host today has written a fine post on how we gain victory over Satan's efforts to derail our faith. We "win" by choosing God, faith and trust in Him, over fear and failure. Karen knows whereof she speaks, as she is currently fighting her own battle with cancer.
She speaks poignantly about how the enemy of our souls knows how to push our irritation buttons, and about how we sometimes seem to race each other to the "top of the annoyance ladder" in escalating issues, family feuds, silly quarrels. Yep, been there, done that. Not proud of it.
Her post today reminded me of something I once read about Martin Luther's take on defeating Satan. I am paraphrasing, but the quote was something to the effect that Satan can overcome the believer's resistance to his wiles in many ways. But one thing he cannot tolerate. Luther said, "Satan cannot stand to be laughed at."
I seem to recall C.S.Lewis used a similar thought in the Screwtape Letters.
Sometimes laughing in the face of tragedy can seem insensitive, even ghoulish. But sometimes a good laugh in the middle of pain and problems is as effective as a good antibiotic.
My oldest son once came rolling rapidly in his wheelchair into the kitchen toward me, about a year after he had been paralyzed from an auto accident at nineteen years old, saying, "Mom, mom, I have decided what I want to be when I grow up."
I looked at him askance, never knowing quite what he would come up with next. "What's that?"
"A stand-up comedian." he replied with a grin, and cracked himself up laughing. I couldn't help but chuckle, too. His sense of humor and his ability to make fun of his own severe disability was one of the things that got us through that terrible time.
He is in his forties now, and works as a high school special ed teacher, teaching the toughest students in a tough school. Recently he dared them to complete some assignment and if they did, he would allow them to dye his hair purple on a day that he was scheduled to attend a public meeting of a serious business nature.
Talk about, "You can't keep a good man down, Charlie Brown." :)
Of course, given Satan's devious and mean-spirited nature, he has tried to high jack the sense of humor God gave us. Watch any current TV comedy (although I don't recommend it) and you will hear a long string of suggestive, and sometimes downright lewd, scatological humor. Most of it originates in one of two rooms in the house: bedroom or bathroom. I hate it.
But God truly loves a good laugh. He gave us humor. His word says, "A merry heart does good like medicine." (Proverbs 17:22)
And part of the description of the virtuous woman in the final chapter in Proverbs is that "she can laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25 NIV)
Now I am not suggesting that we all go around with silly grins on our mugs in the middle of tough battles. But I am suggesting that keeping a sense of humor in the middle of the fray may mean the difference between just barely hanging on through it all, or riding a wave of triumph that befuddles the sceptic and warms the heart of God.
God invented humor, many of Jesus' parables were funny stories in the culture of their day. I have read that the "camel through the eye of a needle" was considered a real knee-slapper in his day.
So why not trust God with a good belly-laugh. Oh, go on, go for it! Satan will run like crazy and you will not only feel better for it, you will experience a touch of the "peace that passes understanding." Laughing produces those endorphins, don't you know?
God bless you ...Marsha
Note: Today's host is Karen over at In Love W.I.T.H Jesus. Please join her and leave a comment on today's quote.