By Janie Baer
Would you like to have some joy in your life? Would you like to experience some joy in the midst of the difficult circumstances you are facing today? Would you like to enjoy your life? You can and I want to let you know how it can happen.
Most people, including Christians, think they can have some joy once in a while and the rest of the time should be filled with the sorrow and the cares of this life; but God, our heavenly Father, doesn’t think that way and neither does He want us to think that way. Why? Because our faith in what the Lord is to us, has for us, does in and through us, really every aspect of our Christian faith has to be centered around the major spiritual force of joy.
Did you realize that joy is a spiritual force that is to be used daily in your life here on earth? If you didn’t you are in for a great surprise.
The joy of the Lord is more than just a “Holy Ghost giggle”. Joy, the joy of the Lord, is one of the most powerful spiritual forces in a Christian’s spirit.
Nehemiah 8:10 ….for the joy of the LORD is your strength. KJV
So if you want strength, then you want some joy.
Let’s say we diagrammed that scripture sentence and took out of the sentence the prepositional phrase “of the Lord”. It would be grammatically correct in saying, “Joy is strength.
Joy and strength are interchangeable. So when you find the word “joy” in your bible, exchange it with the word “strength” and you will see that scripture in a different light.
Here a good example of what I mean,
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; KJV
So let’s read that scripture like this, "count it all “strength” when you fall into divers (or different) temptations."
This word exchange will reveal to us the great difference between joy and happiness. There is no way that you count it all happiness when you are tempted, tested and tried in your faith, because these are times of very difficult circumstances you are facing and are most uncomfortable. You will see the difference between joy and happiness when you realize that joy unlike happiness doesn’t come from outside circumstances but rather joy comes from the inside of you to the outside of you. The joy of the Lord does not depend on your emotions which fluctuate all the time depending on your circumstances. The spiritual force of joy affects your mind. It energizes your mind and makes your mind receptive to the truth that your negative circumstances are turning around. And joy also makes your will vibrant, desiring to do the will of God.
The whole of your being craves joy, because to continue living in this negative world you will need strength for each day and the joy of the Lord is your strength.
This world is without Christ in their lives and so it is going toward death. So in order for you to reach toward the abundant life Jesus came and gave you, you have to turn and go in the opposite direction of the world. It takes a lot of strength to go against the continual flow of this world’s negative efforts to bring you into its doubt, fear, poverty and failure. Resisting the world’s fear, poverty, sickness, disease and failure will demand lots of strength and that is why your entire being is continually crying out for more and more strength every day of the week.
If you don’t realize the joy of the Lord can only be your strength for each day; then you could be sucked into believing that your strength is found in drugs, alcohol, food, sex, money, etc.
The strength you need to stay living in that abundant life Jesus came and gave to you instead of going out there and getting into the world’s death cycle is the strength of God, which is joy.
Joy brings stability to your life. The spiritual power of joy goes beyond the feelings that fluctuate constantly by circumstances and leave you really out of control of the circumstances. Joy affects your mind, will and emotions and makes them receptive to things turning around for the best for you. Joy like nothing else affects your will, making it vibrant and yielded to God and His will for you. And then joy greatly affects your body; acting like a medicine to your body.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. KJV
We don’t have to be frustrated and worried when the devil and his plans to defeat us show up; we can remain joyful because we know Jesus defeated the devil and his plans to defeat us at Calvary. And you can remind yourself in those difficult times, that’s the way God sees your circumstances and now you can be as joyful as He is.
God knew we would need lots of strength to live in this time and so He gave us His joy. This joy, a fruit of the Spirit, was placed inside of us when we got born again. It resides in you along with the God kind of faith and the God kind of love that are in your recreated spirit.
Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. KJV
These spiritual forces were placed in your spirit when you got born again to help you with your every day living in the earth. Not one of these spiritual forces is more important than the other in your life. However, the bible does tell us that the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
I want you to pay close attention to how these spiritual forces are listed in this scripture in Galatians 5:22, 23, there is a reason for it. You will notice that joy is right next to love, for without love (God’s kind of unconditional love) there is no joy. Without this joy being in your life then there will be no peace in your life. And without this God peace in your life then there will be no long-suffering and patience. Without long-suffering and patience, there will be no gentleness. Without gentleness there will be no goodness exhibited in our lives. And without goodness, faithfulness will never be a fruit of our daily life. All of these spiritual forces support one another. Working together, these spiritual forces make us completely walking in the spirit as we yield to their power to work in and through us.
Think about this, the joy of the Lord is the spiritual force that is your strength day after day. Joy is the spiritual force of strength that produces peace that you need every day. Joy is the spiritual force of strength that produces long-suffering and patience you need continually in every day life. Joy is the spiritual force of strength that produces gentleness, goodness and kindness. Joy is the spiritual force of strength that produces faithfulness. Joy is the spiritual force that produces meekness and humility. Joy is the powerful spiritual force that produces temperance or self-control. (Isn’t that good news?)
What I want you to see is that, joy is not just a state of mind but it is a real force that can be powerful in your life; making you feel powerful and in control of your life in spite of living in a world that is out of control.
Did you realize that the devil does not, and I want to repeat “does not”, have anything that can stand up to these spiritual forces of faith, joy, love, peace, longsuffering, goodness, temperance, etc. The devil’s fear has to yield to the spiritual force of faith the same way all discouragement that tries to come against us has to yield to the spiritual force of joy. That’s why it is so important to know about these forces and then be willing to yield to them and allow them to operate. Just say, “I yield to the fruit of the Spirit that is inside of me today.” Again these forces can flow out of your recreated spirit by the Holy Spirit that lives in your spirit and they are more powerful and greater than anything the devil or this world can throw at you any day of the week.
Joy is a fruit of your recreated spirit that came about by receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
If you have not yet received Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior just pray this simple prayer, “Father God, I acknowledge that I am a sinner but I now receive Jesus who came to die on the cross for the punishment of all my sins, past, present and future. I believe Jesus died and rose again so that I could be justified before you now. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus Christ.”
Welcome to the family of God! If you prayed that prayer sincerely then your spirit got born again and these spiritual forces now reside on the inside of you.
Now, since joy is a fruit of your recreated spirit, you must reach in there with the faith God gave to you and get you some joy when you need some strength.
In order for joy to operate, the first place to start is “knowing God”.
Intimacy with God is so important for you to believe God and His Word of promises to you. You cannot fully believe the words of an individual you do not know. Father God wants you to know Him. He wants to reveal himself to you.
Spend some time soaking in His presence and receive His presence to go with you every where you go. He is love! This is a time you can set aside for just Him and you; receiving His unconditional love He willing and forever offers to you. His love is powerful and changes you every time you are exposed to it! Receive His words of encouragement. In other words, just get quite so that He can reveal Himself. It might take some time for you to shut down your mind, but do it any way. His presence is worth it all!
Also Father God can be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Jesus told us, “Ask, and you shall receive that your joy may be full.” So we need to ask that the Father be revealed to us.
Joy like faith comes from the Word of God. So because the spiritual force of joy has kinship to faith; we can apply the same scriptures that talk about faith to joy.
For instance, Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. KJV
We could say, "Joy comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." The spiritual force of joy comes from the Word of God just like everything else that comes from God. So don’t expect your joy to come from any other source. Joy is on the inside of you and so look there as you mediate the Word of God.
There are counterfeits of the fruit of the spirit satan has out there in this world such as drugs, sex, alcohol, money, etc; but their only counterfeits and can only leave you dissatisfied and once again with a deep inner longing for something more. It’s a never ending process and his whole intent with these counterfeits is to steal from you, kill you and to destroy you.
But the real love you long for and the real joy and peace you need for strength and true security is in Jesus Christ.
The spiritual force of joy is a product of the Word of God like everything else that comes from God; so get some scriptures that speak to your heart and get you some joy right now!
The last hour Jesus spent with His disciples before He went to the cross, he spoke to them of joy.
John 15:9-11 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. KJV
John 16:22-24 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. KJV
He could have talked to them about their bodies being healed, their faith not failing them, or all of their needs being met; but Jesus instead spoke of joy. Why? Because the joy of the Lord would be their strength. (Nehemiah 8:10). He knew if they remained
strong in the Lord with His joy; no enemy, no sickness or disease, no bad global economics, poverty, lack or debt would be able to defeat them. And Jesus was speaking to us in this time through those scriptures as well.
Jesus also let them know His joy was also available to them besides the joy they received in their newborn spirit. We can actually share in Jesus’ own joy! I believe Jesus was a joyful person and He had plenty of strength to face each day because of it. And with His joy, we can be armed with the same power to do the same.
This is what every Christian has longed for in their weakest moments of discouragement. It will turn all our weariness into strength and our confusion into confidence. (That’s some more good news!)
You can be assured satan will do everything he can to steal joy from you because this supernatural force is the secret to your success and to his own defeat. This joy is the joy of knowing your heavenly Father.
Jesus told them when the Holy Spirit came into their spirit to live, their Helper, He would have much to do with their joy. What is the connection between the Holy Spirit and joy?
John 16:23,24 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. KJV
This scripture tells us that what belongs to the Father belongs to Jesus and the Holy Spirit has been sent to show all that the Father has given to us.
If we need to know anything about God, just ask Him and the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will show you. It could be anything you want to know about healing, wisdom, finances, your marriage, your family, your ministry, your job, your business, etc., just ask Him.
He said, “anything” didn’t He? So that means there is nothing He doesn’t know about. Just ask Him in Jesus’ name and He will tell you!
It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to show you your heavenly Father!
Jesus also told us in John 14:9, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. So whatever we learn about Jesus applies to the Father also because they are one, they are just alike. (John 14:10,11)
1 John 4:8 tells us to know the love of Christ is to know the Father because God is love.
When we have revelation and understanding of our loving heavenly Father and His unconditional love for us, then we are strengthened with all might in our inner man.
Colossians 1:9-11 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; KJV
So for us to have true, real joy to live life on this earth, it will come from knowing our loving Heavenly Father.
Do you know Him or do you just know about Him? Just spend some time with Him and spend some time in the Word of God so that the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to reveal Him to you. Read for instance all the scriptures about Jesus and how He operated in this earth and you will see the Father. All Jesus said and did was what He heard the Father tell Him to say and do.
Father God also reveals Himself through the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit of God was coming to reveal the Father and he not only does that through the Word of God but also through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit.
The gifts of the Spirit were in operation through the ministry of Jesus and the miracles He did; and this revealed the Father to the people in that day.
Jesus said He came as the Son of Man; in other words, He was God but He came to this earth as a man. He came as a man to show us how to operate in this earth as this new creation in Christ Jesus with the gifts of the Spirit in operation, so we too would reveal the true identity of the Father. Through the same gifts of the Spirit we will “heal them all” and at the same time be revealing the Father and His will for all to be healed.
As you are strengthened with joy, His mighty power in your inner man, then you will understand more about your loving heavenly Father and He will begin to give you understanding of every situation you are in and ask Him about. He is a Father Who cares as much as you do about the situations you are in. Keep the door open to His revelation by your continual thanks. What Father doesn’t appreciate some “thanks” from time to time. What I am telling you is exactly what Paul told us in Colossians 2:7.
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. KJV
You can count on it, as you abound in giving thanks to your heavenly Father, the joy of the Lord will rise up again and again from your spirit. And you know that means strength is rising up again and again from your spirit to help you face the challenges of your life.
Even though the economies of the world are not looking too favorably right now, Father God wants us as His children to profit out there in that world that is filled with darkness. He wants us to be a light for Him in this world and profit so they start asking, “How did you do that? Who is your God?”
Be assured and confident in this time that the place for us to start to profit and be blessed beyond measure is to know our heavenly Father intimately.
The joy Father God promised to us is fed, is energized by the Word of God and it is released out of us to the atmosphere around us to bring change by our praise and worship.
Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. AMP
Psalms 42:4 I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, KJV
Releasing joy in our lives is done just like it is with faith and that is with the voice of our words. God’s Word, which is filled with joy, spoken out of our mouths stirs and releases His joy from within us for the strength we need for any occasion.
The bible tells us that joy is also released in our lives with the dance before God in praise and worship.
Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. KJV
The joy that is our strength in these days on the earth is also released with our prayer, especially praying in the Spirit with other tongues as the Spirit gives us utterance.
Paul tells us that in Philippians 1:4.
Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, KJV
Paul tells us that he prayed, made request with joy.
Find some scripture to pray over situations in which you need the Lord’s help and after you have prayed continue to give thanks and praise to the Lord for things turning around. As you give thanks and praise, the joy of the Lord will get stirred up inside of you and the answer to the problem will get bigger on the inside of you than the problem. Then you can start shouting and praising and dancing with some joy. Now is when God’s strength, His power is beginning to be applied to the problem and satan and the circumstances have to fall back at the very presence of God!
This shows us how powerful joy really is when used in adversity and to destroy our adversary’s plans to defeat us. That’s why he wants to keep us in, “Woe is me. I’ll never get out of this one.”
The joy of the Lord is the most powerful spiritual weapon of divine strength we could ever need to enable us to live in this earth. Like all weapons of our warfare, it has to be used as an act of our faith in Jesus’ Word rather than how we feel at that present time.
The Holy Spirit is leading us into all truth through the Word of God. And He not only gives us His joy but also words of His wisdom for every day living to save us time, money, energy and effort.
We all know there is nothing easy about living in this world. It takes every ounce of strength we have and then demands more and more. But when it does, you can make sure you’re ready by equipping yourself with the joy of the Lord.
Do you know this powerful truth, that joy not only produces strength in your inner man but also in your physical body as well?
By the wisdom of God, Solomon wrote for our benefit in this time this word of wisdom:
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. KJV
Did you know that people have actually gotten healed of terminal diseases just watching funny movies?
Before you live another day or hour, make the decision you are not going to live any more in self-pity but that you are going to operate in the joy of the Lord the rest of our life and live in continual vibrant strength.
Staying in joy will also keep the door open to God’s revelation knowledge which can reveal to you things you humanly speaking could not know. It could be revelation knowledge of health issues, how to resolve problems in your family or job and boss issues, or even how to improve your work skills and even bring creative ideas to your workplace that bring continual raises and promotions when in the natural it would be impossible.
I want to remind you that discouragement is rooted in self-pity and self-preservation and it’s the opposite of joy. Discouragement, self-pity and self-preservation are your worst enemies and the joy of the Lord is the way to keep your life free from them.
You have to realize when you are not worried about yourself and how things are going to turn out for you is when you can be joyful; and when you are joyful is when you are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might that will always guarantee all things turning out for your good.
You don’t have to worry about being defeated, for the one who tries to get you discouraged and worried about things turning out badly for you is the very one who was defeated at Calvary’s cross to guarantee your glorious, victorious outcome.
Remain joyful in the knowledge of your loving, caring heavenly Father. Everything He has is yours and He wants to give it to you. So get to know Him and find out what He has to offer you.
Do things look badly at the present time for you and have you been wallowing in self-pity, self-preservation and worry? Then stop it and say right now, “Jesus I want to thank you for the promise of the Holy Spirit coming into my life. I ask in your name that the Holy Spirit would reveal my loving heavenly Father to me in this situation. Reveal how much Daddy loves me and what He has provided and given to me. I stop worrying now and turn it over to you.”
Maybe in your mixed up mind you have been mad at God. You think God is your problem. No, God is never your problem, He is the answer. I want to reassure you of that very truth and that the devil wants you to keep far away from Father who is the answer. Just tell your bad feelings towards Him to, “Shut up!”
Keep your joy on purpose. Don’t allow self-pity and discouragement to steal the spiritual power of joy that is working in your life’s situations and turning them out for your good. Make a quality decision now that you are going to counteract self-pity and discouragement with the joy of the Lord.
The devil has nothing he can oppose you with that is powerful enough to defeat the joy of the Lord.
With the joy of the Lord being your strength, you can and will rise above every present bad circumstance.
Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. KJV
So what if you have been fighting a long hard battle with the devil over your family, job, finances, or health; just lay every negative thought that comes to mind, lay aside every weight and care of the problem and now get your heart centered on Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who are here to help you. With their help you will be strengthened with their might in the inner man by the joy of the Lord that will affect those things on the outside of you.
In any bad circumstance you may find yourself, you can keep the right attitude when you keep rejoicing. Keep energized with joy by drawing on the supply of the Holy Spirit Who is in you. God’s joy will keep your attitude right, keep your long-suffering working in every situation and keep you looking to God and flowing in His mighty power.
You may not be happy about your present circumstances, it may not be any fun but you can remain joyful in the Lord.
You must make a quality decision now, one from which you will not back down, and promise yourself now that you will not become a bitter person driven by the despair of circumstances in your life; but that you will live a long and joy filled life and that you will rejoice instead.
Rejoice! And again I say, “Rejoice!