Holy Hilarity

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be content.”
(Philippians 4:11)

Keep in mind Paul was in a filthy Roman prison when he penned that.

With our nation in transition there seems to be a pall of gloom hanging over us. It brings to mind a “Peanuts” cartoon in which Lucy asks Charlie Brown, “Did you ever know anyone who was really happy…” Before she can finish the question, Snoopy comes dancing into the next frame. As only Snoopy can, he dances his merry way across the frames while Lucy and Charlie watch in amazement. In the last frame Lucy finishes her question, “Did you ever know anyone who was really happy… and was still in their right mind?”

It is hard to find a happy person. When they encounter you may they have found one. 

One of Paul’s favorite words is the Greek word hilarotes, from which we get the word hilarity. It literally means “laughter from the heart.”

He means bone-deep, blood-rich, exuberant laughter which comes up out of the depths of a person’s soul, joy which flows from the center of our being, happiness coming from the depth of our hearts.

Holy hilarity is born out of deep, inner peace; peace which passes all understanding; peace which comes from knowing that we are really loved and accepted by God.

It comes from having a biblical perspective of life. It begins by realizing as Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (“John 16:33) Notice in the text tribulation is sandwiched between peace and good cheer. Face it, life is hard, but “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance…” (Romans 5: 3)

Like Paul we must realize,“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)

We must be “rejoicing in hope, patience in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…” (Romans 12:12)

In these texts perseverance and patients are essential traits amid tribulation. Lets pray for peace and good times and prepare for difficulty. Consider yourself in prep school getting ready for a tribulation examination.  In your right mind find the good in life and enjoy it while exercising holy hilarity. 

Take the council offered in a modern translation of Proverbs 15:13, “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.”