Photo by Tim Douglas

Have you ever had a situation where you did something embarrassing, and everyone around you started laughing at you?

It’s the stuff of nightmares, because it taps into the deepest part of us where we feel shame.

Sarah had reason to feel shame – she carried the disgrace of not being a mother in a society that only valued women for motherhood.

Additionally, God had promised her a child when she was already passed childbearing years but it hadn’t happened.

For twenty-five years she tried to believe the impossible while others looked on with raised eyebrows. Yesterday, we saw how she laughed bitterly at Mamre.

Beautifully, God redeems that former moment by replacing her incredulous laughter with true joy. ‘God has brought me laughter,’ she says (v6) when Isaac is born.

If anyone had been sniggering at her naive trust in God’s promise, now they must rejoice at the fulfilment.

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No longer laughed at, Sarah predicts that ‘everyone who hears about this will laugh with me’ (v6). Aptly, Abraham names his son, ‘he laughs’ (v3).

While we may not have a promise as specific as Sarah did, God does promise to take away our shame and give us joy.

Romans 10:11 promises us, ‘As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”’ Ultimately, we will be honoured – in heaven, if not before.

Maybe we’re in a situation where we’re misunderstood by others, or someone has mocked or belittled us.

Perhaps we’ve sinned in a way that still haunts us, even though we’re forgiven. We can ask God to replace our wounded laughter with true joy. God is gracious (v1) and loves to do this.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord Jesus, thank You for enduring the shame of the cross. Please take our shame and bring us Your joy Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Name anything causing you shame. Meditate on Romans 10:11: ‘Anyone who believes in Jesus will never be put to shame.’

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 25:1–7; Isa. 61:1–7; Rom. 10:9–13; Heb. 12:1–3

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.