By God's grace, we can laugh right now, even under death's shadow. Jesus doesn't say, "If you weep, soon things on Earth will take a better turn, and then you'll laugh." Things won't always take a better turn on an Earth under the curse. Sickness, loss, grief, and death will find us. Just as our reward will come in Heaven, laughter (itself one of our rewards) will come in Heaven, compensating for our present sorrow. God won't only wipe away all our tears, he'll fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with laughter.

Those who are poor, diseased, and grieving experience therapeutic laughter. At memorial services, people laugh quickly. The best carefree moments on Earth bring laughter. And if we can laugh hard now — in a world full of poverty, disease, and disasters — then surely what awaits us in Heaven is far greater laughter.

One of Satan's great lies is that God — and goodness — is joyless and humorless, whereas Satan — and evil — bring pleasure and satisfaction. In fact, it's Satan who's humorless. Sin didn't bring him joy; it forever stripped him of joy. In contrast, envision Jesus with his disciples. If you cannot picture Jesus teasing them and laughing with them, you need to reevaluate your theology of Creation and Incarnation. We need a biblical theology of humor that prepares us for an eternity of celebration, spontaneous laughter, and overflowing joy.

C. S. Lewis depicts laughter in Heaven when his characters attend the Great Reunion on the New Narnia: "And there was greeting and kissing and handshaking and old jokes revived (you've no idea how good an old joke sounds after you take it out again after a rest of five or six hundred years)."3

Who's the most intelligent, creative, witty, and joyful human being in the universe? Jesus Christ. Whose laughter will be loudest and most contagious on the New Earth? Jesus Christ's.

When you face difficulty and discouragement, keep your eyes on joy's source. Recite Christ's promise for the new world, a promise that echoes off the far reaches of the universe: "You will laugh."

Do you look forward to laughter in Heaven? Are you experiencing the joy of Christ so that there is plenty of laughter in your life now?

Father, today, right now, feeling as I do, with deadlines and health issues and friends who are hurting and world events in flux, I need to hear your promise that in Heaven we will laugh. I picture Jesus, laughing with his disciples, and I can't wait to hear his laugh in person. I look forward to laughing with him at banquets and on walks and in conversations. Thank you for the gift of laughter. Thank you that you invented it. Thank you that we do not have to wait until Heaven to laugh, but that laughter can carry us on its back through difficult times. I think of the release that laughter brings at memorial services for people who have followed you faithfully, people who are already laughing on death's other side. I have enjoyed rich laughter, mingled with tears, with friends and family in difficult days. When we weep now, Father, remind us that in Heaven, partaking of your joy, we will laugh.

1 Piper, Future Grace, 381.
2 McDannell and Lang, Heaven: A History, 47.
3 C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle (New York: Collier, 1956), 179.

Excerpted from Randy Alcorn's book, 50 Days of Heaven (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers), Day 43.

By Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 200, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, Used by permission. © Eternal Perspective Ministries. All rights reserved.