These past weeks, while walking though a particularly stressful time, I have been hearing from the Lord about the remarkable power of JOY in Him. In fact, the overcoming resilience, fortitude and stalwartness of faith that is needed for this time in history is only found in a foundation of the abounding JOY we have in our Lord Jesus.
He spoke to me: Child, reading and studying My word is excellent. Praying is excellent. Gathering in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Me is excellent. Participating in community outreaches is excellent. Blessing others and helping others is excellent. Yet, you do all this in little power and strength of fleeting happiness and do not draw fully upon the well of power packed overflowing and abounding JOY that is found only in Me. Let’s talk together just to talk. Let’s laugh and dance and be silly together. Let Me make your heart merry as you spend time with Me; as My love washes away the heavy load of life and ministry. Yes! Let’s laugh and rejoice together, even in the midst of tears and challenges, because all things are in My hands and you can trust Me no matter your circumstances.
It was true when I heard these words that life had weighed me down. There were deaths of people I loved and admired. Illness had struck too many in my group of friends and close to home in my life and family. Ministry, while so fulfilling and good, was busy and feeling heavy. Decisions came upon me that seemed insurmountable but needed to be made and then, as if He had no idea that I was overwhelmed, the Lord called me to make a giant step into the unknown with Him. He asked me to give up something I love. Of course, I said yes, but the sacrifice of it was very painful. As I took the pain to Him, He gave me supernatural Joy in exchange. I was able to overcome and do all I needed to do because of that JOY! I received it because I went to the Father and asked for help.
First, He poured it out upon me and then He taught me how to walk constantly in His abounding JOY.
Paul and the church at Philippi were in dire circumstances when he instructed them out of the abounding JOY he had in Christ Jesus to: REJOICE in the Lord always! Knowing that those words would fall on overwhelmed hearts and not penetrate he added: And again, I will say REJOICE! That admonition was followed by instructions in Philippians 4:5-9
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Holy Spirit’s revelation to me as He taught me about these passages of scripture was that I felt sad and overwhelmed only because I was fearful and because of the fear I was meditating on the wrong things. Fear is a sneaky foe, but Holy Spirit revealed it to me. He said: Child, there is NO JOY found in the world except that which is flowing from Me. How true those words to me are! No matter where I looked, nothing but HIM could give me deep abiding sense of hope and happiness. So, now I purpose to check myself regularly and ask Holy Spirit to check on me and what I am focusing on. l purpose to meditate on what my God is doing, what He is speaking, and on what it says in His written WORD to us. No matter the turmoil in my life or in the world around me there is a place of supernatural JOY that keeps me strong and enables me to do all thing through Christ Jesus, my Lord!
So join me in a SHOUT! I will REJOICE in the Lord Always! And again we Shout REJOICE!