“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
Joy is a faith-filled word. It overrides what is revealed to our senses. It is not dependent on what is going on around us. It goes beyond the obvious.
Joy is rooted and grounded on our in-depth knowledge that the God of the universe, the Almighty God, Who is our Heavenly Father, is WITH us, IN us and FOR us, through His Spirit. It is birthed when we are fully persuaded of whose we are and who we are in Him, how He personally knows us and calls us by our names. When we know Who owns us, our hearts are at rest being assured that the Lord our God is in our midst ever ready to show forth His glory in, to and through us.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
Our joy is banking on our confidence in what we have of Him, that even in His greatness and mightiness and all the superlatives of Who He is, He zeroes in on each one of us and sees us as the apple of His eye, His precious possession and the object of His attention. His Word says, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common” (Acts 10:15), that means when we are in Christ, washed by the Blood of the Lamb of God, you and I are special to Him.
“God’s love is meteoric,
His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
His verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.” (Psalm 36:5-6 MSG)
True joy can only be explored and experienced when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is good and He is good specifically to each one of us because He loves us. His love is expressed both corporately and personally. He loves the whole world with emphasis that He loves you, He loves me, which surely brings a different effect on us individually. His personal way of dealing with us is what makes us special that energizes us from deep within. Therefore, to rejoice always is a possibility when our heavenly identity in Christ is our reality.
Imagine yourself standing lost in the midst of a crowd. When someone yells or whistles at you to get your attention, you wouldn’t really know if it is you that someone is calling. But, it is different when a person you know calls you by name. It catches your attention and unknowingly touches your affection. How much more when He whispers from deep within us with His still small voice? Don’t you think it will cause our whole being to yield to Him in reverential awe?
Happiness is different. The measure of it comes from the happenings all around us. It is changeable due to its dependence on what we see, hear or feel. With this, our lives most likely can go on a roller coaster ride because it is not established on anything solid and sturdy. This is where we tend to question God’s goodness or even His love towards us. Is God good ALL THE TIME as we always declare with our mouths even if we see otherwise? Does God still love me? Are our hearts fueled and filled with the news around us which shifts every second or the ever-changing world’s opinions that bring havoc into our thinking? Thus, it is not possible to be consistently happy.
Why does the Bible say, COUNT IT ALL JOY when we go through trials? Because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. This is where our faith muscles are developed. Without resistance, there is no room for it to grow. We let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Spiritual maturity has the capacity to respond right, rather than react with an attitude, because it is founded on the solid Rock which is the outcome of our intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the pronouncement of being indwelt by the Spirit of God where the fruit of patience is being demonstrated. It is never produced in and of our own ability. Instead, this fruit of the Spirit is birthed from intimacy. Mind you, it is not called the fruit of Nancy or Johnny. It is called the fruit of the Spirit. We are not the source of it. The Holy Spirit is.
Another way of keeping our joy is when we know that our God is faithful to fulfill what He promised to us. It is when His Word becomes the final authority in our lives. It is when we hear Him speak deep into our hearts that bypasses our knowledge at that point in time. Then, when light illumines what He has spoken, it begets understanding. When it is embedded within us, nothing and no one can snatch it away from us. The enemy can no longer steal it, kill it and destroy it. We take ownership of it until we see it come to pass for our God is not a man that He should lie or a son of man that He should change His mind. Will He not say it and not perform it and make it exceedingly good?
Many still think that when we have trials and difficulties is because that is just what life is all about. Yes, they are part of our lives, but we also need to know the root cause of it which was the fall in the garden of Eden. The adversary who is up to steal, kill and destroy the joy in our hearts, by throwing at us what we are most likely to react violently to, got its authority to harass us from the fall. When Adam and Eve submitted themselves to the lies of the serpent, the enemy got the whole creation under subjection. But, thanks be to God Who is rich in mercy and abounding in love Who redeemed us by sending us Jesus, Who saved us from being fallen, raised us up and made us sit together with Him in heavenly places. Jesus won it all for us by the power of His finished work at the cross. He made us more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. This means that before trouble ever starts, we already know who wins. God ALWAYS causes us to triumph Christ.
If we do not know this truth, we will always be subject to the turmoil the enemy brings, deceiving us from the truth of who God initially created us to be, and that is according to His image and likeness, called to subdue the earth, where we are to be on top and not underneath, the head and not the tail, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (John 16:33 AMPC)
Do you know that when we give in to negative reactions, the enemy gains a foothold? Offense is one of his greatest tools. Offense is his powerful bait because when we take his bait, our hearts get troubled that would make us think more of our feelings and take away our eyes from Who our God is. When are de-focused, it brings division between us in which we are called the body of Christ. If we do not arrest these at the onset, it could possibly ruin our day that is supposed to be a God-ordained good day that the Lord has made where we are to rejoice and be glad in it. What then can we do to be able to regain and get back on track?
The battlefield is in our minds. What we see and hear feed our minds. If we keep hearing and hearing the news, that’s what fills it. I am not saying not to be updated with what is going on around us. What I am saying is to give emphasis and be committed to building our faith, and that is by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. It is in the revelation of His Word where He speaks that pulls down the stubborn negative thoughts that steal our joy. It is when our Lord’s goodness, greatness, love, mercy and grace toward us occupy our thinking.
“For though we walk in the world, we do not fight according to this world’s rules of warfare. The weapons of the war we’re fighting are not of this world but are powered by God and effective at tearing down the strongholds erected against His truth. We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Inconsistency is where we are if we are not firmly founded on the Word of God and “people are destroyed due to lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6), for it is the knowledge of the Truth that sets us free. There are too many opinions that fight for our attention and affection. The only way to combat this unpredictability around us is to set our face like flint, looking unto Jesus, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. I love one post about this new “delta” variant that said, “Why worry about “delta” when we have the Alpha and Omega Who is on our side?” Hmmmm …. it surely is worth meditating. The Lord our God is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, and He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His thoughts and plans for us are good.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” (Jeremiah 29:11AMPC)
A good friend of mine was selling their property. The day came when he already had a buyer. Yet two days away from settlement, the whole thing did not push through.
But, one day before the deal of the property was cancelled, he was able to sell a statue set that he was offering for sale for quite sometime but no one got interested in it until that day. As he got the payment on his phone, he suddenly had an unction that the property sale was not going to take place. Yet, he saw himself so blessed by God.
Yes, he was disappointed about the aborted property sale, but in the midst of it, he could not find himself to be sad. He tried to find within himself to be sad but to no avail. Why? Because he saw the hand of God that caused his statue set to be sold at that designated moment in time that provided for their needs. Instead of focusing on “had the property got sold …”, his attention was redirected to thanking and praising God for keeping His promise, not leaving them empty-handed nor forsaking them.
This was his “take home” testimony on the truth of God’s Word … “Our God lives within us and all we need to activate His blessing, mercy and unending glory is our faith. I have always said that I am a victim of fleeting faith, that when problems come, I cave in to stress and forget about the countless testimonies I have been blessed with. God gave us free will. It means we have to have faith. We have to call out to Him. We have to be humble enough to know that without Him we cannot accomplish anything. Once we understand that He lives in us, that is when miracles start becoming clear to us. Everything starts to fall into place.”
“Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!” (Colossians 1:27 TPT)
This is the sacred secret that will keep us in perfect peace, filling our hearts with uncontainable joy, Christ in us, the hope of glory. He is the One Who walks beside us, holding us by His hand and is the same One Who lives within us. This is a deep, unfathomable mystery. We are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of our being.
As we sit quietly in His Presence, our awareness of His Life within us is heightened. This produces within us the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. The God of Hope fills us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that we may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
With the revelation of being the habitation of His Presence and with our attention and affection zeroed in to Him, the probability of not deviating from the path that He has prepared for us is intensified. This is the most efficient way to stay on track. It is also the most enjoyable way where joy cannot be taken away.
The constancy and consistency of being in His presence makes no room for the adversary to put pressure in us. We know that we have the Well on the inside of us that springs forth eternal life. His indwelling in us is what pushes away anything that does not bring Him pleasure in our lives. Greater is He Who is in us than who is in this world. And if God is for us, who dare be against us.
This is what the Lord searches in His sons and daughters, an awakened spirit, soul and body that thrills to the joy of His Presence. He created mankind to glorify Him and enjoy His Presence forever. He provides the joy and our part is to glorify Him by living close to Him.
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a Mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for always revealing Yourself to us in ways and means that we can experience and explore what it means to be deeply loved by You, to be filled with incomprehensible peace and joy unspeakable. Thank You, Jesus, that Your finished work at the cross made it possible for us to become Your holy habitation, Your home, where You move and live and have Your being in and through us. We acknowledge You as our Lord and Savior, reverently enthroned in our hearts now and forever. Thank You, Holy Spirit for guiding our eyes to always see the beauty of Jesus, His holiness, His goodness, His favor, His love and His faithfulness that we may live a victorious and joyful life always. Amen!