In C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letter, Screwtape, one of the devil’s agents, wrote to one of his lesser demonic pupils as follows:
“I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday.
“Among adults some pretext in the way of jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter as such a time shows that they are not the real cause. what that real cause is we do not know.
“Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven–a meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience, quite opaque to us.
“Laughter of this kind does us no good and should always be discouraged. Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.”
Joy provides laughter in heaven and insults Hell according to Screwtape. I think he may be on to something. Those who try to rob us of our joy seem to be the agents of Hell itself.
The Psalmist reminds us that the godly ones should “…sing for joy.” (Pslam 132:9).
No matter what the world does to try to rob us of the joy of our salvation, let the redeemed continue to shout for joy.
This is my story…