Even in Laughter, the Heart May Ache

Two-Minute Clip on Joy

Audio Transcript

“Even in laughter the heart may ache” (Proverbs 14:13).

There are two reasons for this. It’s true for everybody, but especially for Christians. One is the sequential nature of pain and joy, and the other is the simultaneous nature of pain and joy.

“Even in laughter the heart may ache” (Proverbs 14:13).

The Bible says in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” So, there’s a certain sequence in our experience. And yet we all know that as one joy is dying, which calls for weeping, and another joy is being born, there’s a transition and a process in which we feel very awkward. We want to cry, and we want to laugh, and it feels awkward to do either. So, there’s laughter and pain together.

The other reason is the simultaneous nature of this experience. Paul said in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Well, we always know people who are weeping and people who are rejoicing. So, there’s always a good reason to be weeping and a good reason to be rejoicing simultaneously.

Paul said about his own experience, in Romans 9:2, that he had “unceasing anguish” in his heart, because of his lost kinsmen, the Jews. And yet he’s the one who preached to himself and to us, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). So, while he’s always grieving in some way for his lost kinsmen, he’s rejoicing in Christ, which is why he gave us this phrase, which I think is so crucial, in 2 Corinthians 6:10: “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”

So, with laughter, there will be weeping, either because of the sequence and the transition that’s so awkward, or because of how simultaneous the reasons are for both.