“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
Our Fall Bible study touched lightly on a word I’d not thought much about, mirth, which means happiness, especially laughter.
What is the value of to us as women of God to be able to “laugh at the days to come?” When we’re suffering through something difficult, when nothing seems to be going right, or when our mental or physical strength seems to run out, the last thing we usually want to do is laugh at the trials, the uncertain future – this ability to laugh and remain joyous means we’ve found a treasure for sure!
It’s possible to live happy and joyous,
even when life is painful and we experience suffering, trials, or rejection.
The Proverbs 31 woman is packed full with admirable qualities, but I want to zero in on this one little verse and unpack what is so special about phenomenon and what it means.
She can laugh at the days to come because…
She has fully accepted grace. She’s a sinner and knows it, she knows her failures intimately, but instead of being devastated, unable to move on, or guilt-ridden, she receives grace from God who makes beauty from ashes, and she is able to press on in strength and dignity, with her head held high because she’s been forgiven.
She doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She sees the trivial things for what they are: insignificant in the big picture. Instead of getting distracted with unnecessary worrying or drama in her life, she just focuses on living a life that pleases Him. She is not easily moved or affected by emotions or feelings that are not rooted in Truth.
She goes through trials and suffering, but they are never bigger or more powerful than her God is. Her faith has reached a maturity where even heartaches and crises don’t shake it, but instead prompt her to cling to God even tighter – oh that we may also have this kind of confident faith! She is able to “stand firm,” confident that God is for her, and is not moved.
She isn’t worried about what other people think of her, but seeks the approval of God. When we are overly worried about what others are thinking of us, if they are approving and accepting us or not, it tempts us to do things so people will like us, instead of focus on the things that please God. It also tempts us to try to control or protect an image that we perceive we have – we’re not able to “laugh at the days to come” because we take them (and ourselves) way too seriously. When our image depends on us protecting it, instead of trusting in God to defend us against the Enemy’s accusations, we lose our valuable mirth and become controlling, demanding, and unhappy.
She doesn’t let the Enemy play mind games with her. She doesn’t get stuck in self-hatred, pity, or discouragement, she doesn’t dwell on these negative emotions or feelings. She goes to God freely with her weakness and brokenness, because she knows that in her weakness, she is never stronger!
She doesn’t just strive to get by begrudgingly through life, she thrives and flourishes in God’s love and acceptance for her. She may know the pain of suffering rejection like Christ also suffered rejection, but her heart finds it’s JOY in flourishing in God’s love. She is no longer a victim of others’ misuse, mistreatment or rejection, but is a victor, and because of that confident victory, is able to laugh and have JOY.
She is strong and courageous, and is not afraid of people or battles she’ll have to face because she knows the Lord goes with her, and will never leave her or forsake her (Deut. 31:6).