There are many days when the Joy of the Lord seems to elude me, I prayed and fasted and seek his face, I know, I’m saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost and I’m on my way to heaven but……. shouldn’t life be a little more joyful? Where are the carefree days of my childhood? Where is that place that I can find deep-seated joy? What is soaking up my joy? How can I reclaim my joy?
The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
As I read the above scripture, I ponder, what is the joy of the Lord? and how can I receive that joy? How can I be strengthened through the joy of the Lord if I don’t know what it is? Well, let’s go on a journey to find the joy of the Lord because I believe if we can find the joy of the Lord we will be strengthened and encouraged.
Joy of the Lord
I took a while for me to understand what the it means to say that, Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him, I didn’t understand what was the joy that was set before him? The joy of seeing God’s people reconciled to him was and still is the joy of the Lord today. His greatest pleasure on earth was to do the will of his father who sent him. It pleased him greatly to lay down his life so that we may receive eternal life through his sinless spotless blood.
“For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross” Hebrews 12:2
There is no joy in beaten half to death, no joy of being mocked and spat upon, no joy of being nailed to a cruel cross, no joy of being poked in the side until blood and water gushed out but Jesus endured it all because of a greater reward.
Jesus was able to look ahead in time, he knew that laying down his life in this manner would atone for the sins of the world. His Joy was to see us made righteous, to pay a debt that he knew we could not pay. His joy is to provide a way for us to be with him in paradise. I don’t know about you but that revelation brings tears to my eyes every time I think about. That is enough to kick me out of depression or self-pity.
Why am I Depressed?
I see some of you getting discouraged and depressed and you don’t even know why. You are depressed because you are carrying your cross (struggles or circumstances and situations) with no understanding of the joy before you. I want to help you to understand why you must go through what you are going through. Every person have a cross to carry, that’s why Jesus says daily we must take up our cross and follow him. We must all go through our own trials but if we truly understand the reason behind it all the joy of the Lord will truly become our strength. Not only that, but we will begin to live in victory and wage winning warfare against the enemy of our souls.
Imagine yourself as a soldier in a foreign country fighting a war on behalf of your country. The battle is intense, you have been wounded, your comrades are wounded, the battle ground is unfamiliar. Everyone back home is depending on you to win but you do not know why, you do not know how much longer you can keep fighting, you are tired and weary and feeling like all hope is gone. You lost sight of the reason why you are fighting but you know your life depends on winning this fight so you keep on fighting. This is where most of us are today spiritually. We were drafted into a warfare that seemingly have nothing to do with us, and we must find joy in the midst of this great and terrible conflict but how?
You see the conflict was never about you to begin with, you must lift up your eyes off the circumstances and begin to look for the meaning behind the fight. This fight began ages ago way back before time begun. “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12: 7-9)
This is a battle between good and evil and we must understand that our only way out is through Jesus Christ. He alone has the ultimate power over Satan, In Luke 10:18 He told his disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you. Often times we fight losing battles because we do no understand that we have been given authority over all the power of the enemy.
On the battlefield
Some of us are waging warfare on behalf of others, some are waging warfare against sickness, generational curses and a host of other things but best of all we are all fighting on behalf of the Kingdom of heaven. The apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4:8 “fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith and you will receive the crown of righteousness waiting for you in glory and that’s the reason why we fight. We know that their is a reward waiting for us in heaven so we press along on the battlefield of life.
I also want to remind you that the fight is fixed you cannot lose.
Remember that the weapons of our warfare are no fleshly but powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds, so whatever you are battling, you can win this battle, don’t quit, don’t give up, do not lose hope, all is not lost, joy is coming in the morning.
On this battlefield we are just pilgrims passing through. Just like you cannot build a house on the battlefield, it was not meant for us to make this earth our eternal dwelling place. We are all going to live forever somewhere after death, eternity is waiting for us. I must make it clear however that there are two destinations for eternity, heaven and Hades. Yes, they are both real places. Part of our warfare here on earth has much to do with our eternal destination.
We fight because the enemy of our soul desires to take us captives and hold us prisoners of war but God’s desire is for us to be with Him in heaven. We are his creation, we belong to Him but He will not take us captives. He created us with a free will, He set before us life and death and told us to choose life that we may live.
This was the joy that was set before Jesus, the joy of redeeming our lost souls.
Jesus willing laid down his life for us so that we can choose eternal life over death.
Strength in Joy
So having the understanding of why we are going through these trials and temptation, let the Joy of eternal life in Christ be your strength as you fight. Jesus said in John 16:13 In this world you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the world. The Joy, the revelation knowledge of knowing Jesus, the revelation knowledge that he loved you enough to endure that cruel cross so that you can be forgiven.
Let that the joy of knowing that nothing can separate you from His love be your strength.
Let the joy of knowing, “what is the hope of His calling, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe, be your strength. (Ephesians 1: 18-19)
If this message has encouraged you, please leave me a comment.
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