Diane Jurino is a
Spirit-filled Christian who resides in Erie,
Pennsylvania. She is the mother of three grown
children, and four grandchildren. Her professional
background is in Copywriting, Sales, Advertising, and
Marketing. She has developed and conducted custom
training courses in Human Relations, Communications,
Personal and Professional Development.
indicated, all Scripture quotations in this volume are
from the King James Version of the Bible.
1John 1:4 "And these
things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."
As we approach the
coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, may our
lives be filled with awe and joy in the Lord!
I used to have a
small crystal heart that had a carved ivory angel
inside of it. It was a gift from a friend many years
ago, and it had the word "joy" etched on its reverse
side. Although not costly, it was truly precious to me
since it reminded me of my friend, who has great joy
herself. That quality attracted me to her initially,
and it has sustained our friendship over the years.
This "Joy Heart," as
I call it, was one of my most treasured possessions.
It served as a tangible reminder to me to strive for
joy no matter what happened in my life. I often
clutched it as I cried myself to sleep at night,
wanting desperately to regain the joy I had
temporarily lost in my daily struggles, frustrations
and disappointments. Always, by morning, I would awake
with a renewed peace, my joy restored.
As desirable as it
is to acquire for yourself, joy is more meaningful
when you share it. When my mother went into a nursing
home several years ago, I gave the Joy Heart to her.
At the time, I knew how very sad she was to be
incapacitated and forced to leave the independence of
her own home. I wanted simply to comfort and remind
her that we can have joy under any
Mom went to be with
the Lord this past summer. When we were cleaning her
room after she passed away, I was delighted to see
that she had kept the Joy Heart throughout her period
of confinement, last illness and death experience. It
pleased me that she had a reminder of joy in her later
I would like to
think that the original joy in the gift itself never
diminished, but was somehow enhanced as it was passed
on from my friend, to me, and to my mother. I guess I
never really missed having it, because I had freely
given it away to Mom. When I got it back, however, the
Joy Heart took on new significance for me.
When a friend of
mine lost her husband this past year, I didn't know
what to do to comfort her. So once again, I gave the
Joy Heart away to her to help ease her burden. And
while I sincerely miss having it myself, I realize
that we cannot truly have joy ourselves unless we
share it with others!
Man is a walking,
talking spirit that has a soul and lives in a body.
Our fleshly body houses both our spirit and our soul.
Our spirit man is our connector to God while our soul
is our human personality, comprised of mind, will and
emotions. Just as the human personality has certain
traits and attributes, the recreated spirit also has
distinct characteristics - joy is one of them.
When we made Jesus
Christ Lord of our lives, we became new creatures in
Him. All of the attributes of the Holy Spirit became
available to us. They are termed the "fruit of the
Spirit", or simply spiritual fruit. They include good
traits that are necessary for us to lead successful
lives. However, they need to be cultivated and grown
to maturity, in order for us to function optimally in
the spirit realm as the Lord intends for us.
Galatians 5:25 "If
we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
Our human spirit is
constantly at war with our soul and our flesh, and
some of the greatest ongoing battles we experience are
in our bodies, minds and emotions. Emotions are only
sporadic and fleeting. If they are negative, they
often interfere with our minds and bodies functioning
properly. If carried to excess, they cause us to
become out of balance and they can interfere with our
relationships with God and others.
Spiritual fruit, on
the other hand, is given to us for our ultimate
well-being. It includes, joy, peace, love, faith,
gentleness and long suffering, to name but a few.
These attributes stimulate health and wellness in
every area of our lives. They are also more enduring
than emotionality. When we cultivate and develop
spiritual fruit, it helps us to grow in our fellowship
with the Lord and manifests in all of our human
relationships, as well.
Psalm 16:11 "Thou
wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is]
fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are]
pleasures for evermore."
In this book, we
will examine joy as a spiritual attribute, a fruit of
the Holy Spirit. We will research its source, examine
its manifestations and see how it is developed. We
will see how joy interacts with other spiritual fruit,
and with our minds, emotions and bodies. We will
discover that there is extreme joy available in the
presence of the Lord, and it will show us the path to
We will examine joy
in action and see how it can be used as an instrument
of praise and as a weapon for spiritual warfare.
Finally, we will focus on the future and discover the
essence of what I call radical joy or "joy
unspeakable," as the Scriptures call it. Our joy will
be at its fullest as we enter into the Kingdom of God
on the earth.
Job 8:19 "Behold,
this [is] the joy of his way, and out of the earth
shall others grow."
It is my sincere
hope to share with you what I have learned about joy
from the Word and from my own personal experience. I
may not be an expert on the topic, but I believe that
my research in this area has given me some fresh
insight worth sharing. I am a more joyous individual
since I have written this book, and I know that it has
strengthened me to become a better person.
Joy is something
that we cannot live without. It fuels us spiritually
and emotionally and leads to a zeal for abundant
living. My prayer for you is that you would develop
all the gifts of the Spirit, especially joy. I hope
that you share it generously with those around you,
and that it brings you strength and optimism in your
Chapter 1 - What is Joy?
Joy is extraordinary
energy that exudes from us, that colors our entire
outlook and influences all that we do. It is a
supernatural trait that permeates our very being and
gives us a positive, can-do attitude. Joy radiates
optimism and the very essence of life. It is exceeding
gladness and vitality. It is happiness taken to the
next level and turned up a notch.
A unique gift from
God Himself, joy is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit
operating in our lives that affects our bodies, as
well as our souls and spirits. While joy enhances our
spiritual and mental functioning and influences us
emotionally, it also improves our physical well-being.
It stimulates good hormone production and strengthens
our immune systems to help fight off disease.
However, joy will
also enable us to walk in the Holy Spirit instead of
our flesh. It is a spiritual fruit and it serves as
our connector to the supernatural, and our path to the
divine life of God Himself. Joy reflects the very
character of God and distinguishes us as His children.
The Lord wants us to have every good thing in our
lives, and joy is a trait that has lasting value for
Characteristics of Joy
Habbakuk 3:18 "Yet I
will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my
Joy comes to us
straight from the Lord; it is a divine attribute that
we see in God Himself. We are created in His image and
likeness, and He gave His joy to us as a special gift.
It's an impartation of His very own nature in our
lives. Joy connects us to Him spiritually and enhances
our human nature and all of our relationships, as
It is a marvelous
trait that need never dissipate. We can have it every
minute of every day of our lives. It can sustain us
regardless of what we encounter in the world. Joy can
be seen on our faces, in our body postures and in our
actions. It is heard in our voices and in our
laughter; it has a soothing effect on all others with
whom we come in contact.
While it has many
spiritual benefits, joy also makes us more attractive
on a human level. It is characterized by exceeding
gladness, positive exuberance and supernatural
optimism. It is expressed in our eyes, our smiles, in
our words and gestures towards others. Joyful people
are like magnets, drawing others to them, rather than
contagious, joy spills over into the lives of others,
promoting camaraderie and unity. It inspires people
and encourages others to emulate our optimism. Joy
produces a quiet confidence that gives us a can-do air
about us. It is characteristic of a Spirit led life
that has power and meaning, direction and purpose.
Joyful people seem
to have their lives more together than the average
person does. They are positive and outgoing,
charismatic and persuasive. They serve as role models
for others and as godly examples of
right living. While they may not be extraordinary in
any other way, joyful people definitely stand out from
the norm because of their overwhelmingly positive
attitude. They exude hope and confidence and see life
as limitless and exciting potential.
Joy is a Gift From God
Jeremiah 15:16" Thy
words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was
unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am
called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."
Joy is a gift from
God, a manifestation of His very Spirit. It stems from
our faith in God and in His promises to us. Joy is a
spiritual attribute given for our strength and
comfort. It is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit
that should be present in our lives at all times as
born-again believers. Joy stimulates love for God and
others, brings peace and confidence to us, causes hope
for the future, and propels faith into action.
When we are joyful,
we can expect to attract the very life of God to us,
so that we appear unique and special to others. We
must guard our joy at all costs and cultivate it so
that it grows into a fully developed, radical joy that
permeates our very being. I define "radical joy" as
the fullness of joy that can be used as an instrument
of praise to the Lord, as well as a powerful weapon of
those who are mature in the Lord and give Him full
sway over their lives. Radical joy affects our entire
outlook on life, and motivates us to do great things
for the Lord and for His people. It defines our very
existence and launches us into the supernatural realm
even as we walk in the natural.
Radical joy will be
that type of total and complete joy that we experience
when heaven itself is ushered in on the earth. This
truly will be cause for what the Bible calls "joy
unspeakable," joy so extreme that we cannot even
express it with words. Radical joy will flow from us
as a steady stream when we enter into the presence of
God in His Kingdom on the earth.
Fruit of the Spirit
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance: against such there is no law. And they
that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us
also walk in the Spirit."
When we made Jesus
Christ the Lord of our lives and were baptized in the
Holy Spirit, God's very own Spirit took up residence
in us. All of the attributes of the Holy Spirit -
including joy - became available to us. We call these
spiritual fruit by studying and believing God's Word,
and by applying what we learn in our daily lives and
in our relationships with others. We must overcome our
fleshly desires and lay down our souls in order to
walk effectively in the Spirit realm.
Romans 8:1 "[There
is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after
As we practice
walking in the Holy Spirit rather than the flesh,
spiritual fruit grow, develop and manifest in our
lives. They help our spirits take ascendancy over our
souls and our flesh. Spiritual fruit empower us to
partake of the divine, and to walk in supernatural
realms even as we walk in the natural world. They will
produce extraordinary results in otherwise ordinary
interact with one another to make us whole, mature
Christians. They are inter-connected, and as we
develop one fruit, it spills over into the next. As we
purposely refine one attribute and it becomes
incorporated into our behavior, the others seem to
gather momentum and emerge in us as well. They have a
cumulative effect and cause us to always be righteous
and above reproach.
For example, if I
work on developing faith and love in my life, I almost
always will experience joy and peace as byproducts. If
I exercise my patience and long suffering, that causes
me to grow in gentleness and goodness as well. If I
walk in goodness and gentleness, I will develop a
temperate lifestyle and be meek and humble in my
service to others.
Ephesians 5:9 "For
the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and
righteousness and truth;"
So it is with all
the fruit of the Holy Spirit, they are intrinsically
related to one another. In cultivating and perfecting
one attribute, we become inclined to develop more of
them. Our goal is to crucify our flesh and lay down
our soul lives, and be overtaken by good spiritual
fruit that lead us into all goodness and righteousness
We should fully
cultivate the spiritual fruit in our lives, so that we
walk in total spiritual maturity as Jesus Christ
Himself walked while He was on the earth. Our goal
should be to become holy and perfect, just as Jesus
was in His earthly walk. While this may seem
impossible in the natural, through the fruit of the
Spirit, we can strive for divine characteristics and
enhance our relationship with the Lord and with
Walking in the Spirit
"[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall
not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
We are spirit beings
having a human experience in a world filled with
darkness, chaos and confusion. It is important that we
have our spirits in ascendancy to our flesh and souls
if we would be effective in our daily lives. We need
to develop our spirit man and exercise him, to remain
healthy and well balanced. We require spiritual
bolstering for success in every area.
We should try to
walk in the Holy Spirit and not in our flesh. In fact,
we should crucify the desires of the flesh and lay
down our soul's agendas, and control our minds, wills
and emotions. If we can be successful in this, we will
please God and avoid much unnecessary pain and turmoil
in our lives. And we will always subdue our human
nature that is subject to temptation and sin.
Joy is Our Reward
Matthew 25:23 "His
lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful
servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I
will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into
the joy of thy lord."
Joy is our reward
for righteousness and service to God and others. It
comes straight from the Lord Himself. Joy is a divine
attribute that can permeate our spirit if we give it
free rein; it is an impartation of the Lord's own
divine nature. Spiritual joy is the pivotal point for
all the other spiritual qualities that manifest in our
lives. It motivates and energizes us to grow and
develop in godliness, so that we reach full spiritual
Joy sparks hope,
ignites our faith, fuels peace, and fires our love for
God and others. If we cultivate all the other fruit of
the Spirit, we will become good, gentle, patient, long
suffering, temperate and meek, as well. These
qualities will manifest in us as we strive for more
and more spiritual maturity, until we literally walk
in heaven on the earth, and overcome the world, the
flesh and the devil.
Psalm 105:43 "And he
brought forth his people with joy, [and] his chosen
Joy is our
inheritance in the Lord. He has called and chosen us
from the foundation of the world to be part of His
very own family. He wants nothing more than to have a
strong intimate fellowship with us for all eternity.
The Lord has created us to be joyous and optimistic in
our everyday lives. He wants us to mirror His own
divine joy in all that we think, say and do.
We are His chosen,
His beloved, and He wants us satisfied with all good
things. Jesus came so that we might have life in
abundance and He wants our joy to be full and
permanent. So too, the Kingdom of God will provide for
our every need when it manifests on the earth. No care
or concern will mar our peace or erode our joy for all
"For [God] giveth to a man that [is] good in his sight
wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he
giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may
give to [him that is] good before God. This also [is]
vanity and vexation of spirit."
The Lord lays up all
good things for the righteous man. Wisdom, knowledge
and joy are only a few of the Lord's gifts to us, and
they are indispensable in our Christian walk. We
cannot be effective without them. They are rewards for
our righteousness and incredible benefits to all who
We need the wisdom
of the Lord to discern all things and to judge
righteously. We require knowledge and insight to know
the Lord's will and plan for us. We need joy to
motivate us in all that we do, and to sustain us in
all that we experience.
joy, while sin yields the very opposite - sorrow and
vexation of spirit. These will immobilize us and give
us negative attitudes. They may even destroy us if
they remain unchecked, and progress into depression of
spirits. That's why it is critical that we remain sin
free and in right standing with the Lord at all times.
We need the joy of the Lord to empower us, and fortify
us against all attacks of the enemy.
The Enemy Hates Joy
Joy is so important
to our spiritual welfare and our walk with the Lord
that the enemy makes it his primary goal to steal it
from us whenever and wherever he can. He tries very
hard to disturb our peace and arrest our joy. He wants
to bring fear, anxiety and depression on us. He wants
us to feel alone and isolated so that he can totally
overcome us and paralyze us from doing the Lord's
will. This is his primary goal for the people of God,
and we should resist all of his overtures.
He may send negative
individuals our way that irritate and annoy us. The
devil often brings subtle circumstances into our lives
to discourage and upset us. He oppresses us with
hindering spirits that cause us to be stricken with
disease, mental stress or financial hardship. His goal
is to get us to abandon our joy and become fearful and
depressed. We don't have to receive anything that he
throws at us, however. We can resist him in all his
Proverbs 10:28 "The
hope of the righteous [shall be] gladness: but the
expectation of the wicked shall perish."
We should counter
those demonic attacks with spiritual warfare of our
own. We have to bind all efforts to disturb our peace
and steal our joy. We then loose joy and blessings in
our lives by voice-activating God's promises to us. We
must forcibly take back our joy, knowing that it
sustains and strengthens us in all that we encounter.
God's people should
openly rejoice in the devil's every attempt to get us
off track and into sorrow and depression of spirits.
If it were not critical to our welfare, he would never
try to steal our joy. He will not succeed in
destroying it, because joy is a gift from God Himself.
No matter how hard he tries, Satan cannot thwart the
Lord's efforts to share His very own supernatural joy
We have to purposely
set our minds and hearts to remain joyful at all times
and under all circumstances, if we would maintain
solid ground. Joy must be an actual way of life for
us. We must search out the promises of God for our
individual situations and cling joyfully to them. We
should actually speak words of peace and joy over
ourselves, and unleash dynamic power for all good
things to manifest in our lives.
Psalm 105:43 "And he
brought forth his people with joy, [and] his chosen
The Blood and the
Name of Jesus are our surety that we can maintain our
joy regardless of what efforts are made to rob us of
it. The Lord redeemed us from the curse of pain and
sorrow and replaced it with His own supernatural joy.
But we have to know our rights and privileges. We can
invoke Christ's power of attorney in His Name, plead
His Blood and unleash His very resurrection power to
sustain our joy on a continuous, ongoing basis.
There is no reason
that we should ever relinquish our joy to the enemy.
We are of great importance to the Lord, and we should
perceive Satan's attacks as compliments rather than
annoyances. If we were not joyously strong, he would
not bother to attack us. We should proactively resist
and thwart all of his efforts to steal our joy from us
and preserve it at all costs.
Joy vs. Happiness
Hebrews 1:9 "Thou
hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with
the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
Supernatural joy and
gladness is reward from God for our righteousness in
Him. It is not contingent upon our mood or
circumstances. Its source is not found in our
immediate environment, nor do we obtain joy by looking
to other people for it. Joy comes straight from the
Lord and often defies logic as it elevates us into the
supernatural realm. While it imitates joy, happiness
differs greatly from it. It's only a cheap facsimile
of real joy and it never lasts for long.
Happiness is a
short-lived, transitory human emotion. It's in the
soul realm, and it is often dependent on people,
things and experiences that give us only temporary
satisfaction. It is fleeting and sporadic, not nearly
as enduring as real joy. Happiness is a counterfeit
emotion that mimics the real spiritual attribute, and
it never has the ability to overcome our
For example, our
friends and loved ones make us happy, but they also
make us angry, frustrated and sad. Our homes, jobs,
cars, clothes, and other possessions bring us
intermittent happiness, but they also require hard
work and maintenance. Sporting events, parties,
hobbies and vacations are other sources of happiness,
but they often lose their allure.
Happiness comes and
goes, fades with each passing experience, and leaves
us constantly wanting more. It never seems to fill the
void in us. Real joy comes from the Lord and is our
basis for fellowship with Him. It sustains us in the
hard times, and brings us through the ups and downs of
life with little or no repercussions from the
temporary situations we experience.
Joy is vital to our
well-being and will fortify us to be victorious in
every area of our lives. While happiness will never
last for long, true joy radiates from within our
spirit man and is sustained over the duration of our
lives. It gives us an optimistic outlook in all
situations, and provides us with stamina and endurance
for anything we encounter. It is not dependant upon
people, things or circumstances. True joy is a quality
of the heart.
Depression is the Opposite of Joy
Proverbs 15:13 "A
merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by
sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."
The opposite of joy
is depression of spirits. Depression is a spiritual as
well as a mental condition. It starts with a spirit of
worry, sorrow or heaviness, or perhaps a combination
of all of these. It is subtle in the beginning, but it
slyly progresses to full-blown anxiety, fear and
despondency if it remains unchecked. Defiling spirits
such as these team up in spiritual strongholds that
are difficult but not impossible to overcome.
occasional sadness and weariness, depression is
excessive emotional heaviness, and it charges the
spiritual atmosphere negatively. It is a pervasive
state of mind, epidemic in the world today, and it
attracts darkness and negativity of all types to our
lives. It opens the door for the enemy to mercilessly
attack us, and leads to a never-ending vicious circle
become distorted and our emotional and spiritual
balance is disturbed. We are off kilter in every area
of our lives, and vulnerable to physical attack on our
bodies, as well. Depression is demonic and requires
prompt and aggressive treatment in both spiritual and
natural realms before it leads to total destruction.
Far too many people
require ongoing psychiatric help and medication for
this insidious condition. Depression immobilizes us
and destroys our level of mental functioning to one
degree of incapacity or another. It can also adversely
affect our physical health and well-being. It affects
our immune system and lowers our body's ability to
fight off physical disease. It shatters our
self-confidence and colors our whole attitude towards
life in a negative light.
Without a doubt,
depression also causes spiritual woundedness to come
on us, and it should be avoided wherever possible. We
are spirit beings and when we experience spiritual
brokenness of any type, we become vulnerable to
demonic attacks on our spirit man. Our endurance is
fragile at that point, and we may succumb to the
temptation to self-pity when we are depressed.
Temptation can evolve into more blatant sin such as
isolating and ignoring or blaming others.
When we are
depressed, we are constantly engaged in spiritual
warfare just to maintain equilibrium. We must remember
that the enemy's goal is to utterly destroy us; we
cannot afford to have depression come on us and
overtake us at any time. Its effects are cumulative
and they build in intensity to catastrophic
proportion. Depression can totally destroy us, if we
permit it to get a foothold in our lives.
Depression Escalates Into Fear
When we are
depressed, life seems dull and flat to us. That
influences our whole outlook and it interferes with
our relationships - with God and with men. Depression
is the enemy's main line of attack in our mental and
emotional lives, and it impairs us spiritually, as
well. We should never permit sadness and heaviness of
sprits to remain unchecked.
If the enemy can
cause us to be downcast and sad, it's only a matter of
time and degree before he makes us depressed in
spirit. He can then use that very depression as an
open door for more evil to attack us. Evil spirits
always seem to team up to do the most damage in our
lives. Spirits of heaviness, depression and fear are
evil spirits that go hand in hand.
When we are
depressed, we invite fear in. Fear tends to paralyze
us and produce all sorts of diffuse anxiety. We can
even become paranoid so that everything and everyone
frightens us. Fear can actually immobilize us
altogether. It attacks our minds, emotions and our
bodies. It can prevent us from leading normal lives
and interfere with our service to the Lord.
Fear is an unclean
mind-blinding spirit that causes doubt and unbelief to
erode our faith. It literally threatens to take us
out, if we give it ground. The good news is that we
have not been given a spirit of fear; we have been
given spirits of power, love and a sound mind. The
Bible tells us that God loves us with an everlasting
love, and His perfect love casts out all fear in our
Depression Causes Suffering
Psalm 107:39 "Again,
they are minished and brought low through oppression,
affliction, and sorrow."
When we are
depressed, we feel isolated; it seems like we are all
alone in our feelings. We may become angry and
frustrated in our relationships with others. Our
confidence is shaken; even the simplest things become
difficult for us. Our peace is disturbed; we become
anxious; and we no longer see things optimistically.
Our hope is diminished; the future seems uncertain and
frightening to us. And our faith is weakened; we can
even wonder if life is worth living at all.
our spirit, mind, emotions and our body's immune
system. It can even bring on physical disease
symptoms, which in turn, make us even more worried and
afraid. Spirits of depression and fear can confuse and
paralyze us, rendering us powerless to withstand
additional attacks of the enemy, and ineffective in
our service to God and others.
We suffer miserably
when we experience depression. The key to prevent all
of that lies in our total submission to the Lord's
will and plan for our lives. He wants us to stay
connected to Him so that He can provide all good
things for us. We should purposely focus on His love
and promises in the Word. When we study what the Bible
says God has planned for us, particularly when He
ushers in His Kingdom on the earth, then our peace and
joy will be restored to us.
depression of spirits will then be a thing of the
past. If they should ever attempt to come on us again,
we can resist them in Jesus' Name and by His Blood,
and they will flee far from us. Our peace and joy are
easier to maintain consistently, than they are to
restore after we have lost them. We ought to be
diligent to remain joyful despite occasional attacks
of heaviness and anxiety; we should remember that
these conditions are only temporary.
1Peter 4:13 "But
rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's
sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye
may be glad also with exceeding joy."
Jesus was human as
well as divine. He laid down His deity when He came to
the earth, and took on all the potential infirmities
and afflictions of human beings. It is certain that He
also suffered occasionally with heaviness and
depressive spirits. These are part of the human
condition that we all must combat from time to time.
His agony in the
Garden of Gethsemane was oppressive and real. Because
he was both God and man, Jesus suffered in the flesh
and the emotions just as we do. I am certain that He
was tempted to abdicate His role in the Lord's eternal
redemption plan for mankind, because of the sorrow and
depression that He experienced.
Jesus probably felt
alone and abandoned because His disciples could not
even stay awake and pray for Him in His time of need.
He surely felt heaviness and down-heartedness. The
Bible tells us that He agonized in the Garden of
Gethsemane and actually sweat drops of blood, in His
efforts to overcome the despair that He experienced
with the revelation of His coming death.
But the good news is
that Jesus overcame depression through His faith and
obedience to the Lord's will. He chose to be
cooperative despite His awesome responsibility in the
plan of salvation. He willingly suffered, died and was
glorified in His resurrection. He laid down His life
of His own volition so that our joy would be full.
oppressive at best and sinful at worst because it can
actually destroy us if we permit it. While we may
occasionally suffer from heaviness in our spirit man
and even a touch of depression, we can overcome it
just as Christ did. No matter how much we suffer, we
will never have to experience the pain and sorrow that
He did. We can rejoice in His victory over depression
and enjoy life abundantly.
Joy Cures Depression
Isaiah 35:10 "And
the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to
Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and
sighing shall flee away."
We were bought with
a dear price; our redemption should be a source of
overwhelming joy to us! Jesus died to give us
salvation from our sins, and to restore us to right
standing with the Father. His victory over sin, death
and the grave vanquished Satan once and for all time;
he no longer can accuse us of sin or intimidate us in
any way. As a byproduct, we were made righteous and
joint-heirs with Christ to all that heaven has to
Baptized and filled
with the Holy Spirit as born-again believers, we can
be assured that the joy of the Lord resides deep
within us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It simply
needs to be brought to the surface and cultivated in
every aspect of our lives. Radical joy is a potential
for each and every one of us. Depression cannot
co-exist with the radical joy we have as believers in
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Knowledge of who we
are in Christ and what our promises are in Him,
eliminates depression and drives out fear and anxiety.
The awareness that we are actually seated with Him in
heavenly places gives us a sense of confidence in our
relationship with Him. It should yield genuine joy and
gladness in our spirits. That joy is part of God's
perfect love for us. He wants us filled with joy to
the overflow, and we ought to cooperate with Him in
developing it to its full potential.
We can purposely
work on cultivating joy as a constant and continuous
way of life. We can choose optimism and gladness over
any feelings of negativity. Being forewarned and
forearmed that joy is precious and subject to loss, we
can be vigilant to preserve it at all costs. Whenever
depression threatens to come at us, we can bind it and
cast it out, then loose joy and peace in our lives by
focusing on our precious promises in Christ.
Joy, Faith and Hope Interacting
Romans 15:13 "Now
the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the
power of the Holy Ghost."
When we think of the
Lord's nature, we ascribe various spiritual attributes
to His Holy Spirit - love, peace, goodness,
mercy and joy - to name only a few. We know Him
by these traits, and we can be sure that He will
always manifest them in His relationship with us. He
is constant and unchanging, and never exhibits
Created in His image
and likeness, it is not only possible, but also
necessary that we exhibit the Lord's own spiritual
attributes in our lives. Like attracts like, and these
form the bases for our communion with His divine
nature. We can have the Lord's stability and balance
in our lives by cultivating joy, faith and hope.
The Lord will fill
us with all His joy and peace so that we may have
faith, hope and confidence for the future through the
power of the Holy Spirit. He wants these attributes
developed in us, because they strengthen and empower
us to do His will in all things. They add to our sense
of well-being and promote good health and long life
Our faith is
developed by trusting God and by believing what He
tells us in His Word. We can rely on Him to always
supply our needs and to have our best interest at
heart. The Word of God holds many promises for us that
will benefit us in every area of our lives. If we
believe that what the Lord says is true our joy,
confidence and hope for the future will be strong.
"Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but
are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand."
Our faith should
sustain us in every area of our lives. Scripture
reminds us that we have the very mind of Christ,
because He lives in us. It is a foregone conclusion
that we can also have the joy of Christ. We need to
take a stand in faith to obtain joy and preserve it at
all costs. It will elevate us to the supernatural
realm, enhance all of our relationships and facilitate
our accomplishments for the Lord.
Joy was one of
Christ's strongest attributes as a man; we should
pattern our lives after His own. He exuded joy in all
that He did, whether it was preaching and teaching or
healing and setting captives free. Jesus enjoyed
preaching the gospel and experienced joy and victory
in His dialogues and debates with the Jewish leaders
of His day. I am certain that He took particular
delight in coming against all attacks of the devil to
injure others and hold them in bondage.
Christ should serve
as our role model for walking in the joy of the Lord.
He wants us to be full of joy because it promotes
inner peace and hope regardless of our situation and
circumstances. By faith we can take a stand to be
joyous and remain that way, no matter what comes at us
in the world. As we go deeper in our relationship with
God, our joy ever increases. The more intimate we
become with God, the more our joy is stimulated.
That very joy serves
as spiritual armor to protect and surround us with the
presence of the Lord when trials and tribulations come
at us. The enemy doesn't stand a chance of getting us
off track or stealing our peace, as long as we
cultivate and preserve our joy. The Lord's very
presence in our lives will serve as a hedge of
protection around us to deliver us from all evil. Joy
will supernaturally protect and defend us, as we serve
the Lord in optimism and gladness.
"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
my flesh also shall rest in hope."
When we remember the
Lord's goodness to us and focus on His blessings
rather than our temporary circumstances, our joy is
increased tremendously. As we pray and meditate on His
promises, we can concentrate on all the positive
things that the Lord provides in our lives. So too, we
can praise and worship the Lord both publicly and in
private, which stimulates joy into action and takes
our minds off of our problems.
Joy influences how
we perceive the world and our part in it. Supernatural
optimism in times of stress is vitally important to
how we view life. It gives us strength for the present
and hope for the future. Joy causes endorphins - good hormones - to be released in our
bodies so that we may have more stamina and endurance,
and improve our overall physical health.
It promotes a sense
of contentment and well-being in us and positively
impacts all of our relationships. Joy fuels us during
the hard times when we need to have patience and
perseverance to wait for our breakthroughs and
promised rewards. It always makes waiting more
pleasant for us, as it evolves into excited
anticipation of the Lord's blessings for us.
Topics for Discussion
1. Define Joy
2. Characteristics of Joy
3. Joy as a Fruit of the Spirit
4. How Joy Differs From Happiness
5. Joy Cures Depression
6. Joy, Faith and Hope
7. Exceeding Gladness
Chapter 2 - The Joy of the Lord
Isaiah 29:19 "The
meek also shall increase [their] joy in the LORD, and
the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of
The joy of the Lord
is a divine attribute that mirrors the very joy of God
Himself. We should embrace it in all meekness and
humility and prize it more highly than any other gift
from God. It marks us as His very own child, and
sustains us in our body, soul and spirit. It is
characterized by exceeding gladness and it influences
our every thought and action to do the will of God. It
will attract unbelievers to us like a magnet, and
improve our relationship with our brothers and sisters
in Christ so that we can walk in total love and unity.
The joy of the Lord
is a great and awesome gift that comes straight from
the throne of grace to every believer. It is an
inheritance from the Lord for our righteousness and
good standing with Him. It should radiate from us in
everything that we say and do. It is supernatural
optimism for performing outstanding feats in the name
of the Lord, and it will be our secret weapon for
annihilating the enemy as we usher in the Kingdom of
The word "joy" occurs
165 times in 155 verses in the King James Version of
That tells me that
the Lord attaches great significance to joy in His
Word. I am convinced that the joy of the Lord is the
secret to entering in and remaining in the manifest
presence of God for all eternity. The Lord wants us to
value joy and protect it over every other gift that He
has granted us. It will be our fuel for performing
awesome feats on His behalf.
So too, our joy will
grow and become radical in the days ahead as we help
to usher in God's Kingdom on the earth. We will serve
Him almost effortlessly as we go about our work with
joy and gladness in our hearts. He will take great
pleasure in our willingness and zeal to serve Him and
His people, and reward us generously for our attitude
Our supernatural joy
in the Lord will serve as inspiration to men who are
lost in darkness and despair. They will wonder how we
can be so upbeat and positive. We will be living
testimonies of God's love and power. We will attract
many believers to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and
persuade them to repent and be baptized in Christ, so
that their joy might be complete for all eternity.
We will work
miraculous healings through the anointing power of God
Himself, and men's lives will be forever changed. We
will enthusiastically take control over all attempts
of the enemy to destroy God's people and set captives
free of demonic oppression. We will have overwhelming
joy as we raise the dead and permit them to live
Our joy will know no
bounds as we all dwell together with the Lord Himself
for all eternity. It will be an all out radical joy
that totally delights the Lord. He will be our God and
we will be His people that fellowship with Him on an
intimate basis. Love, peace and joy will prevail In
God's Kingdom. We will have all our needs met and
rejoice in His presence forever more.
God, My Exceeding Joy
Psalm 43:3-4 "O send
out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let
them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy
tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God,
unto God my exceeding joy."
God's Kingdom will
soon be ushered in on the earth. The Lord is our
exceeding joy! Life in His presence will be an awesome
privilege and an eternal reward. It is more important
than ever that we repent of all known sin, and
sanctify ourselves in the truth of God's Word. We must
strive for spiritual maturity and increased
righteousness, as He is holy and perfect.
We should remember
that we enjoy a place of special privilege with the
Lord. We are seated with Christ at the right hand of
God. Our joy in the Lord is a great benefit and our
inroad to His power and glory. We should joyfully
approach the throne of grace with every concern and
need. We are assured that we will always be
acknowledged and that every petition will be granted
The Lord will reveal
His secrets to us, so that we can be fully prepared
for all that we encounter in the days ahead. He will
give us increased wisdom and revelation to handle all
aspects of His eternal redemption plan. He will imbue
us with a full anointing of His power and glory so
that we are able to do everything that He requires.
Our service to Him will cause Him great joy.
joy. Fellowship with the Lord and with each other
brings joy. Searching for the truth brings joy.
Seeking the Lord's will brings joy. Serving the Lord
brings joy. Praising God brings joy. Knowing our
promises and privileges in Christ, gives us radical
joy and provides us with the necessary motivation to
accomplish all that the Lord assigns us to do in
ushering in His Kingdom on the earth.
Joy in Our Savior, Jesus Christ
Romans 5:11 "And not
only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the
Christ died to bring
us total redemption, not just forgiveness of sins.
When we were born again, we renewed our covenant with
the Lord that was present at creation, but forfeited
by Adam's sin. We experienced the benefits from His
atoning act of obedience in every area of our lives.
All our rights and privileges were restored to us. We
passed from death to life again. We were delivered
from the curse, because Jesus was made a curse for us.
The divine exchange
of sin for pardon, darkness for light, and sorrow for
joy, took place. We were restored to right standing
and close fellowship with God. In fact, we enjoy
actual sonship rights. We should rejoice in the fact
that Christ has not only redeemed us, but called us to
be part of His very own family. We have a new and
improved covenant now, with better promises than ever
before. We are actually joint-heirs with Christ, and
we will share in His glory for all eternity.
Christ Himself came
to take up residence in us as part of the Messianic
Covenant. Per the terms of that covenant, all that He
has became ours. All that He is - glorious and
powerful - became available to us. Our dominion over
the earth has been restored once and for all. As
believers, the joy of the Lord and His power to
overcome should permeate our very being.
Whenever we sin we
break covenant with the Lord and interrupt our
fellowship with Him. We become estranged from our
Creator Father. Sin and unrighteousness of any type
replace our joy with feelings of guilt. We feel
separated, alone, discouraged, and become sorrowful
and ashamed. We may become fearful and our
relationship with God and others is impaired. Only
repentance and confession of our sins rekindles our
right relationship with God, and restores us to our
original joy and peace in Him.
So too, an
exaggerated concern about the things of this world
erodes our joy. The Bible tells us not to give any
thought to what we should eat or drink, nor what we
should wear. We cannot make material things our focus,
nor can we walk in the flesh and hope to sustain our
joy in the Lord. The world is currently filled with
darkness and gloom. We must purposely walk after the
Holy Spirit and disregard what is happening in the
natural, if we would be joyful and optimistic in our
service to the Lord in the days ahead.
Sin Destroys Joy
"Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but
ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for
vexation of spirit."
Sin and disobedience
erode our joy. We trade peace and joy for sorrow,
fear, guilt and condemnation every time we miss the
mark and sin against God. We are immobilized and our
service to Him and others reaches an impasse. The only
thing that will renew our joy is repentance and
restoration of our right relationship with Him. We
must earnestly strive for righteousness at all times,
and be careful to walk in love for the Lord and with
joy are interconnected. We cannot experience genuine
joy unless we are in right standing with God and with
one another. Supernatural joy characterizes the
faithful servants of the Lord in all that they do. The
best way to preserve that joy is to be willing and
obedient to live according to the Lord's direction,
plan and purpose for our lives. Obedience has its own
rewards and joy is just one of them.
Job 33:26 "He shall
pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and
he shall see his face with joy: for he will render
unto man his righteousness."
It's all about
intimate fellowship. No matter how many times we sin,
the Lord is quick to restore us when we repent from
the heart and turn towards righteousness again. All we
need do is seek His face, confess our sin and ask for
forgiveness. As we turn from all known
unrighteousness, our relationship with Him is
restored, together with our joy in the Lord. We
experience renewed intimacy and we grow emotionally
We are repeatedly
blessed with God's mercy and loving kindness towards
us, and He is quick to renew our joy with His total
forgiveness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we
can learn to be sensitive to His lead, and walk in
such a way that we will never again miss the mark and
lose our righteousness in Him. We should strive for
holiness and spiritual maturity, so that our joy
remains constant and overflowing.
Habakkuk 3:18 "Yet I
will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my
It is possible to
become so close to the Lord that His joy remains in us
continuously. It will actually overtake us and
permeate our very being. It will become joy
unspeakable, or radical joy, as I term it. This type
of joy is what we will require as we struggle with a
world filled with sin and darkness in the days ahead.
We are overcomers, and we battle darkness with light,
love and joy.
Our very lives will
reflect the joy of the Lord as we usher in His Kingdom
on the earth. We will attract countless numbers of new
believers as we preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
We will minister to the sick and rejoice in their
healing. We will set captives free from enemy
oppression, and yes, even raise the dead as Christ
did. All this will bring us radical joy and cause the
Lord to be extremely pleased with us.
Cares of the World Erode Joy
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus."
The cares of this
world interfere with our joy. If we are focused on
other people and our situations and circumstances, we
subject ourselves to the daily seesaw of our emotions
while our joy and peace suffer. In fact, worry and
anxiety of any type can even rob us of our joy and our
peace altogether. They are foolish and sinful wastes
of our time. Worry and anxiety produce fear, which
ultimately causes us mental anguish and even physical
The remedy is to
guard our joy at all costs, as it balances us and
motivates us in our service to the Lord. We should
have trust in God for every situation we face. He
should be our focal point; only He offers the solution
to all of our problems. We must not worry or be
anxious regarding temporal or spiritual matters. We
should never be afraid; the Lord promises us that He
will never leave us or forsake us. He will be our
continuous source of all that we need.
God has a plan for
every perplexity that comes on us; He knows our needs
even before we ask Him. All we must do is pray
confidently for the answers to our prayers, then thank
Him for His love and generosity even before we see the
manifestation. We will always receive what we request.
The Lord is ever faithful to hear us and respond
positively. That should be cause for exceeding joy and
confidence in us, and will produce peace in our lives.
Rebellion Kills Joy
The Jewish people
had repeatedly rebelled against God, and they were
exiled as a result. They were discouraged and
faint-hearted from their long period of captivity,
until Nehemiah stepped in to be their governor. They
had been released to return home, but their joy
subsided when the city experienced a fire. Jerusalem
was left unfortified because the city walls and gates
had been destroyed. Fear and confusion set in, and the
restoration of Jerusalem looked doubtful.
Nehemiah was a
future type and shadow of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to
his people at that time. He was in deep agony for
their plight. He fasted and prayed; he found them
timber to rebuild the city walls and gates; and he
organized them for the labor. They completed the
restoration in less than two months, despite
opposition so strong, that they were forced to wear
swords at their sides and defend their lives during
the rebuilding process.
But Nehemiah didn't
stop there. He knew that the Jews were paying high
taxes and excessive tributes, and he helped to abolish
their exacting servitude. He challenged their
morality, made a concerted effort to purify the
bloodline, and cleaned up their spiritual defilement
by abolishing mixed marriages. But most important of
all, he prayed and interceded for his people and
turned them back to a personal relationship with their
He had Ezra the
Scribe read to them from the book of the Law of Moses
in remembrance of all they had experienced as a nation
of God's chosen people. This reminded them of God's
mercy and grace to meet all their needs. Then they
celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles to help restore
them to their original covenant with the God of
Israel, and to praise Him for His glory.
Nehemiah knew that
his people needed encouragement, that they needed
righteousness once again. The key to that was in
repentance and renewing their joy in the Lord. Total
restoration - of their city and their covenant with
the Lord - followed this celebration, as the people of
God worshipped the Lord in total joy.
The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
Nehemiah 8:10 "Then
he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink
the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom
nothing is prepared: for [this] day [is] holy unto our
Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is
This should be a
timely reminder to the Body of Christ on the earth
today. The joy of the Lord is our strength too. When
we sin and repent, our joy is restored. Although we
may experience some battle fatigue in our efforts to
circumvent the enemy and usher in the Kingdom of God
in the days ahead, the joy of the Lord will sustain us
through every trial and tribulation we face. It will
protect us and motivate us to accomplish all that we
are called to do.
Joy will cause us to
serve the Lord and one another with exceeding gladness
and lightness of heart. It has a magnetic-like
quality; we will spread our joy to those around us.
God's people will attract many new believers to the
Lord, as we joyously share the good news of the
Kingdom with them. We will perform miraculous healings
and set captives free of enemy oppression. We will
bring light and love to others, so that they can
overcome the darkness in their own lives.
Joy in the Heat of Battle
Matthew 11:12 "And
from the days of John the Baptist until now the
kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent
take it by force."
With the global
revival and restoration that are promised us as we
usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth, we can
expect even more resistance from the enemy. After all,
his days are numbered; his power and authority are
quickly waning, and that outrages him. He will do
everything possible to impede the establishment of
God's Kingdom on the earth.
The more confident
and joyful we become, the more determined he is to
steal that peace and joy from us because it is our
strength. We must resist all his efforts to rob us of
our joy. It will sustain us through all sorts of
hardship and temptation as the days progress. We can
maintain our joy regardless of the situations and
circumstances that surround us.
We know that the
spiritual battles we face will only escalate until the
coming of the Lord Jesus. Yet we can have peace in the
midst of the storm, radical joy in the coming season,
to help us usher in the Kingdom of God. We can use
that joy as an instrument of praise to the Lord and as
an effective weapon of warfare to overcome the enemy's
We must simply push
through, as Christ directs us, in total joy, peace and
confidence that the Lord's plan for the full
redemption of mankind will be fulfilled, despite how
things look in the natural world around us. We must
give action to our joy, and praise the Lord in all
that we encounter, with full knowledge that He
empowers us for all that we are called upon to do.
Joy as We Usher in the Kingdom
Joy is not something
we should take lightly; it's not something we ought to
just think about. It's a gift of God that we should
earnestly desire to receive and maintain. We must
actively pursue it, as it provides us with a
supernatural push when the going gets tough. It will
help spur us forward so that we can easily overcome
all obstacles in our path. It is the impetus we
require to accomplish great feats for the Lord, and it
connects us to His power and glory.
We must earnestly
strive for spiritual joy as we do for peace, love and
faith. We must practice being joyful on purpose,
regardless of our circumstances. And once we develop
joy to its full potential, we must zealously guard it.
It will enhance our warfare, and fortify our lives for
the challenging days that lie ahead before Christ
returns. It will cause us to have hope and confidence
for our future.
with joy will add meaning and satisfaction to all our
efforts. It will help us to usher in the Kingdom of
God with zeal and optimism. Our service will seem
effortless and personally gratifying. So too, joy will
give us endurance and stamina and keep us connected to
the Lord, so that we have supernatural protection and
extraordinary success in all that we must accomplish.
Romans 14:17 "For
the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
We will actually
enter into the Kingdom of God even before it manifests
on the earth, as we walk in right standing with the
Lord and in love and peace with one another.
Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit are
our inheritance in Christ. They are rewards for our
obedience and characteristics of the Kingdom of God.
and joy cause the Kingdom to operate and take
pre-eminence in each and every one of us, even before
it is actually ushered in on the earth. They reside
deep within every one of us who have been born-again
and baptized in the Holy Spirit. They are manifested
as we walk in love and service to others.
Matthew 6:33 "But
seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added
The joy we
experience is as important to our spiritual
well-being, as the air we breathe and the food we eat
are important to our physical well-being. In fact, as
born-again believers we should earnestly seek that
which is from above, rather than that which is of the
world. The Lord provides all our needs, both spiritual
and temporal - joy is one of His greatest gifts to us.
It is a reward for our righteousness and sustains us
in all that we do.
The Bible tells us
to seek God's Kingdom above all other things, and
everything else that we need will be added to us.
Spiritual gifts are more valuable and lasting than
material gifts. They only improve with the using and
never grow old and decay, as do material things. Joy
grows until it permeates our very being and provides
us with a supernatural motivation to love and serve.
The joy of the Lord
is a spiritual fruit we ought to covet more than
material things. It fills us with enthusiasm and fuels
us to do the Lord's will in every area of our lives.
It radiates from deep within our spirit man and
dramatically impacts the world around us, and it
positively influences all the people with whom we come
in contact. When we have the joy of the Lord, we
attract all other good things to our lives.
produces zeal and optimism in us, and it yields power
and stamina, strength and endurance to achieve all
that the Lord calls us to do. It also gives us a
common ground for communing with Him and with each
other in true fellowship.
The joy of the Lord
is a spiritual magnet that will help us attract many
new believers to the Kingdom of God, as we spread the
gospel message and gather in the full end-time harvest
of souls. We will experience radical joy as millions
turn to the truth and repent of their sins and are
baptized into the Kingdom way of life.
Joy and Gladness
Isaiah 35:10 "For
the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her
waste places; and he will make her wilderness like
Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy
and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and
the voice of melody."
Zion is a type and
shadow of the church. For our former shame and sorrow,
the Lord promises the church joy and gladness now and
for the future. We are promised total redemption and
restoration in the Kingdom of God. We will rejoice and
give thanks for all that He has done for us, as we
dwell in safety and security, peace and prosperity,
for all eternity.
The Lord will boast
of us as His Bride to all creation. He will show us
off for all men to see. We will rule and reign with
Him for all eternity. This will be our greatest hour.
That should be a tremendous source of joy to us, that
encourages us in our efforts to do His will as the
Kingdom of God is ushered in to the earth realm.
"For he shall not much remember the days of his life;
because God answereth [him] in the joy of his heart."
Our pain and sorrow
is a thing of the past as we embrace the joy of the
Lord in our lives. It revitalizes and gives us renewed
energy to serve Him in all that we do. It is our
strength and comfort, as well as our hope for the
future. Through faith we can be eternally joyful in
all that the Lord has provided for us, both
spiritually and temporally. He meets all of our needs
generously and abundantly.
Very soon there will
be no sorrow in the Kingdom of God. The Lord Himself
will take up residence with His people. Every tear
will be wiped away and blotted from our memory. No one
will suffer pain, disease or death. No evil will
reside there, and Jesus Christ will take vengeance on
all our enemies. There will be no lack, as the Lord
meets all of our needs fairly and equitably. There
will be love, peace, and unity - a cause for never
ending joy for all who dwell there!
Topics for Discussion
1. Joy in Christ's Sacrifice
2. Joy Breakers
3. Sin Destroys Joy
4. The Cares of This World Erode Joy
5. Nehemiah and the Temple
6. Joy in Warfare
7. Joy in The Kingdom
Chapter 3 - Christ as Our Source of Joy
Luke 1:14 "And thou
shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at
The Lord is, and
always should be, our source of joy. He knew us from
the foundation of the world and anticipated that we
would be rebellious, lost in sin and require rescue.
He formulated a perfect plan to save mankind from
destruction and reconcile us back to Him again. That
involved sending His very own Son to the earth to
serve as a preacher and teacher, mediator and
redeemer, a pattern and role model for righteous
brought supernatural joy to the earth realm thousands
of years ago, and that same degree of joy is available
to us today. News of His coming echoed throughout the
universe. All creation rejoiced at His birth. Jesus'
coming was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, a
vital part of the Lord's redemption plan for all
mankind. Heaven itself touched down on the earth. The
Word of God became man and dwelt among us. Jesus
Christ was Emmanuel - God with us!
Luke 2:10-11 "And
the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to
all people. For unto you is born this day in the city
of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
The angel's tidings
at Christ's birth were indeed good news. We must
remember that God's chosen people had long been
oppressed due to their disobedience. They were
estranged from God; they had broken covenant
relationship with their Creator. They consequently
suffered under several human governments, endured
slavery and exile, and experienced horrific losses at
the hands of their enemies.
They knew only pain
and sorrow. They were under the curse for their
disobedience. They were worried and afraid; they were
oppressed and depressed. They were weak and
vulnerable. To top it off, their country was occupied
by Rome, one of the most formidable tyrants they had
ever seen. God's chosen people desperately needed
their joy restored, and they needed His manifest
presence in their lives once again.
Sorrow Turned to Joy
Psalm 126:5 "They
that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
Israel needed hope
for the future; they needed a Savior - their promised
Messiah - to restore what had been taken from them and
reconcile them back to their God. They needed joy
instead of pain and sorrow. That joy came as God
Himself in human form, destined to change their lives
forever because of His unselfish dedication to their
Christ came to set
them free not only from emotional and physical
bondage, but also from spiritual decadence. He came to
destroy sin and unrighteousness and to redeem them
from its curse. Jesus' life was a joyful demonstration
of love, obedience and service. He preached the good
news of the Kingdom to the poor, healed the sick, set
captives free of enemy oppression, and even raised the
dead back to life again.
suffering and death on the cross caused many of His
followers to experience temporary sorrow, it
ultimately resulted in the fulfillment of the Lord's
redemption plan for men. His victory over sin, death
and the grave vanquished the enemy and restored
dominion on the earth back to men. The divine exchange
of sin for righteousness and sorrow for joy took
Isaiah 61:3 "To
appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto
them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
prophetically of the anointing on Jesus Christ before
He was ever born. The impartation of joy was part of
the divine exchange that occurred during Christ's
life, death and resurrection. His followers' sorrow
was turned to joy supernaturally. Their heaviness
turned to praise, as He unleashed all the bounty of
the universe for their benefit.
We praise and
glorify God for all that Jesus did for us. His Blood
sacrifice served as a total atonement for all our sin
and disobedience. He restored us to right standing
with the Father. He turned our captivity by redeeming
us from the curse of the law, through which no man
could be made perfect. He made an open show of the
devil and stripped him of his power to harm us.
overcame sin, death and the grave, so that we could
have eternal life. We know that His obedience has
brought us life in abundance; we are now entitled to
total redemption of our bodies and souls, as well as
our spirits. We have become joint-heirs with Him to
the promises of the Kingdom of God. All of this is
cause for true, everlasting joy in our lives!
John 16:20 "Your
sorrow shall be turned into joy."
Jesus may have
experienced momentary sadness and frustration in His
time on earth, but nothing robbed Him of the ultimate
joy of knowing that He was the Father's beloved Son
called to be the first-born of many. Knowledge of His
relationship to the Father and His role in our lives
constantly stimulated Christ to serve men with joy and
He laid down His
deity and walked as a mere man, sinless and perfect.
He joyfully preached the good news of the Kingdom of
God, enthusiastically healed all who were sick and set
the captives free from demonic oppression. His
greatest joy came when He was able to raise the dead
back to life, and comfort their families.
When explaining that
He must suffer and die, Jesus promised His disciples
they would ultimately have joy regardless of the
sorrowful circumstances they were to endure. He made
good on His promise. They forgot all of their pain and
sorrow at His death, once they beheld Him again in all
of His glory after the resurrection.
We too should
rejoice in all that the Lord has accomplished on our
behalf. He made an open show of the devil and stripped
him of his power. He served as the expiation for all
of our sin. He bore our infirmities and carried our
diseases, so that we would enjoy healing and long
life. Jesus restored us to right relationship with the
Father so that would be joint-heirs with Him to all
the promises of God.
As if all of that
were not enough, Christ also gave us the promise of
His Kingdom. We have a blessed hope for the future
when He returns to consummate His redemption plan. He
will put all enemies under His feet to include death,
and we will be given our new glorious resurrection
bodies that will live on the earth forever with Him
and the Father.
Evil will be
eradicated from the earth as the Kingdom of God is
ushered in. The Lord will take vengeance on all our
enemies. All of creation will be restored to its
original beauty. We will enjoy prosperity and have all
of our needs met. There will be safety and security,
fairness and equality for all. Christ will boast of us
to the entire world as we rule and reign with Him in
joy, peace and love for all eternity.
Joy Was Christ's Strength
"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."
Jesus knew who He
was. He fully understood His role and purpose in our
redemption. He also knew the details of his agonizing
destiny. That never altered the fact that He was
joyful throughout His earthly experiences. Despite the
heavy burden He carried in teaching, healing and
battling demons during His ministry, Jesus never lost
His joy. He radiated hope, zeal and optimism to His
followers, and He attracted multitudes to hear the
Gospel of the Kingdom.
Joy sustained Jesus
during His temptations. It spurred Him along during
His ministry; He always took time to praise the Father
and celebrate life. Joy enabled Him to deal with the
frustrations He experienced in teaching His disciples
and taking His message to the people. He experienced
great joy and satisfaction in healing the sick and
delivering the oppressed. The joy of the Lord was His
strength and it stimulated the full anointing power
and glory of God to operate in His life.
Christ's Supernatural Joy
suffered sadness and depression of spirits before His
agonizing passion and death, His sorrow was turned to
joy supernaturally as He willingly and obediently
accepted His role in our redemption. The joy of the
Lord strengthened Christ to deal with betrayal by a
friend, and the treachery of the traditional Jewish
leaders. And while He may have not been pleased about
every aspect of His destiny, Jesus never lost His
confident, peaceful composure even during His
suffering and death.
He was tremendously
successful in His earthly ministry and this caused
both Christ and the Father exceeding gladness. His
victory over sin, death and the grave was a cause for
tremendous joy as Jesus fulfilled the Father's plan of
salvation for all mankind. His conquest over Satan,
all powers and principalities, released mankind from
demonic oppression for all time, and certainly gave
Him the greatest joy imaginable.
Jesus made plans and
preparations for transferring His supernatural joy to
His followers. While they were sad and despondent over
His crucifixion, that sorrow turned to joy in His
resurrection from the dead. They were overjoyed as He
walked with them in the newness of life, and continued
to teach them many more things before He ascended to
be with the Father. He was proud of their love and
faith, and they were a continuous source of joy to
Him, as well.
Transfer of Joy
John 17:13 "And now
come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world,
that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves."
Jesus was a joyful,
contented person of boundless zeal and energy, who
attracted thousands and thousands to his ministry. His
charismatic words were inspiring and persuasive,
filled with hope and encouragement. His motives were
always loving and unselfish, as He went about doing
good everywhere that He went. He laid down His deity
and walked as a perfect man with a joyful, optimistic
attitude during His time on the earth.
As our High Priest,
Jesus prayed for His followers before He went to the
cross. He wanted them not to be taken out of the
world, but kept from evil while remaining in it. He
wanted to supernaturally transfer His joy to them to
sustain them in the days that were to follow, as they
waited for the coming of His Kingdom, and went about
doing the works that He had done.
Exceeding joy came
to Christ's followers with the Holy Spirit at
Pentecost. It fueled and energized them to walk in His
power and perform many signs and wonders for the
benefit of the people. They were zealous and
passionate for the gospel to be preached and for all
men to be healed and set free. Today that joy is
imparted to all of us who believe in Him.
When we accepted
Jesus as Our Lord and Savior and became baptized with
the Holy Spirit, His joy transferred to us in all its
fullness. It is deep within our spirits and it enables
us to walk as Jesus walked, in full power and
authority. We can now serve the Lord with supernatural
optimism and exceeding gladness, in all that He asks
of us. We can have hope and confidence for the future
as we help usher in His Kingdom, and preach the gospel
with attending signs and wonders.
Fullness of Joy
John 15:10-11: "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. These things have I spoken unto
you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your
joy might be full."
Joy was so important
to Jesus that He taught all of His followers His
secret. If they kept His commandments as He had kept
the Father's, they could experience the radical joy He
had. Jesus took joy in the obedience of His followers,
and He commanded them to abide in love with Him and
with one another, which fulfilled the entire law.
He told them that
His joy would remain in them if they did what He did,
and that their joy would be full. Jesus expects us to
continuously walk in love for God and for one another.
His joy is complete when He sees our obedience to Him
and our humble service to all men. He desires that we
walk as He walked on the earth, doing the works that
He did. He will be our strength and our empowerment.
Together we will usher in His Kingdom for all
John 16:24 "Hitherto
have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall
receive, that your joy may be full."
Jesus is now seated
at the right hand of the Father. He has elevated us to
share in that position of power and glory with Him. We
should be overjoyed in what He did for us, and for the
promises of a better covenant than we had before. We
enjoy sonship rights and are actual members of the
family of God because He paid the ultimate price for
us. We can approach the throne of grace with every
concern and need that we have.
Christ promised to
act as our Mediator with the Father to provide us with
all that we need to remain joyful and contented.
Whatever we ask in His Name, we can be assured we will
receive. We do not have to plead or grovel to have our
needs met. We are seated at His side in heavenly
places; we make our needs known as mature sons and
daughters of the living God.
We have Christ's
power of attorney, the right to use His Name to obtain
all that we require in our lives. He has promised us
this, so that our joy in Him may be full, lacking
nothing. It is His express desire to bring us life in
abundance, to the overflow. He wants to bless us
richly. This should truly be cause for radical joy in
The Lord's Joy in Us
Zephaniah 3:17 "The
LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will
save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest
in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."
The Lord is not only
our source of joy, but we are His reason for rejoicing
when we walk in His ways. We have been saved from sin
and corruption, bought with the Blood of His only Son.
As we walk as Christ walked on the earth, we will
experience even more of Christ-like joy in service to
all of mankind. The Lord will be extremely pleased,
and rejoice in us as He did in Jesus.
Whenever we minister
healing, cast out demons and set captives free, and
preach the good news of the Kingdom, our joy is
enhanced. We have confidence that we are doing God's
will, and the hope of a future reward. And His joy in
us knows no measure when we are walking in this close
fellowship with Him and His purpose for our lives.
It is up to us to
cultivate and develop high-level radical joy in our
own lives through perfect obedience. We must lay down
our own agendas and walk in the Spirit. We should seek
God's will in all our situations and circumstances. We
must focus on our blessings and promises, and
disregard all hindrances in our lives that would tend
to discourage us and steal our joy.
Jude 1:24 "Now unto
him that is able to keep you from falling, and to
present [you] faultless before the presence of his
glory with exceeding joy,"
The Lord has
provided His people with all the ammunition we need to
be victorious in both natural and spiritual realms. He
loves us with an everlasting love, and sent His Son to
redeem us when we were lost in sin and afraid of its
repercussions. We have the Word of God; we have prayer
and praise; we have glorious promises. We have hope
for the future in the Kingdom of God.
Christ, we are kept strong and righteous, and in close
relationship with Him. He is the author and the
finisher of our faith. Christ is able to keep us from
falling despite our temptations and tribulations, and
He will present us to the Father with exceeding joy of
His own. He will glory in us as we walk the way He
walked on the earth. He will boast of us to all
creation, as He reveals the sons and daughters of God
in His Kingdom.
2:19-20 "For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of
rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our
Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory
continuously walk in the Spirit instead of our flesh.
It will give us supernatural empowerment for
everything we do. We must lay down our souls - our
minds, wills and emotions. We have to crucify our
flesh and all its lusts. We must submit ourselves to
God, and forego our personal goals, desires and plans
in favor of His will for our lives. We ought to walk
in love and peace, and cultivate joy in our lives so
that the Lord is pleased with us.
Paul told His
followers that they were a source of glory and joy to
Jesus Christ. Their very righteousness and love were
exactly what the Lord expects and commands of us. When
we walk according to Christ's law of love and are
obedient to His lead, we give Him great joy. He will
return one day soon for a perfect, mature and
unblemished Bride that will rule and reign with Him.
We will share in His joy and His glory for all
Joy in Christ's Second Coming
The message of the
Kingdom of God that Jesus preached on the earth during
His first advent, was filled with promises of joy and
peace for all men. The people received it hungrily, as
their lives had been filled with sorrow and loss. They
had known untold oppression, and the Kingdom promised
them safety and security, blessings and prosperity,
health and long life for all eternity. They were eager
to receive the good news and anxious to participate in
Christ's Kingdom. But they were not to know the full
joy of their redemption at that time.
over sin, death and the grave was the turning point in
history, the key that unlocked our future. It restored
our right standing with God and promised us great
blessings. It empowered believers of every age to do
what He did - walk in full power and authority in the
followers of Jesus, we are to walk in the light and
revelation that we now have. We are obligated to share
our faith and spiritual resources with a world that
has been deceived and grossly darkened by sin. We
should provide them with tangible love and comfort,
hope and confidence for the future.
We must spread the
good news of the Kingdom of God and tell others of
Christ's second coming to the earth to set up His
eternal reign. As we do so, we offer joy, peace and
hope for all men in a world that so desperately needs
it. As we go about doing Christ's works, we must
encourage others to trust the Lord and His total
redemption plan for their lives.
When we heal the
sick, raise the dead and set captives free from enemy
domination, we demonstrate the very power and glory of
God and release the joy of the Lord into the natural
realm. We set godly examples of a people that walk in
total joy, peace and confidence. As we reach out to
others, our optimistic attitudes become contagious,
enveloping all those with whom we come in contact.
Matthew 25:23 "His
lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful
servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I
will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into
the joy of thy lord."
The church will do
the works of Jesus in the days ahead, as the Body of
Christ ushers in the Kingdom of God on the earth. We
will preach the gospel to the unsaved and baptize them
with water and the Holy Spirit. We will heal the sick,
raise the dead and set all captives of the enemy's
oppression free to enjoy life.
If we are willing
and obedient to the Lord's lead, He will reward us
generously in His Kingdom.
We will be given the
heathen for our inheritance. We will rule and reign
with Christ forever and be just rulers and capable
teachers of men. He will boast of us to all creation
and take vengeance on all our enemies. We will have
glory and honor instead of our former shame.
The Kingdom of God
promises joy, peace, love and unity for all who dwell
there. We will put on incorruptible, resurrection
bodies that are impervious to disease and death. All
of nature, to include the plant and animal kingdoms,
will be subject to us. All men will enjoy prosperity
and have every need met. Pain and sadness will be
forgotten; our tears will be turned to exceeding
gladness and praise, as we dwell in the presence of
the Lord for all eternity.
Topics for Discussion
1. How Christ's Birth Brought Joy
2. The Anointing on Christ for Joy
3. Joy in the Atonement
4. How Joy Makes Us Strong
5. Define Fullness of Joy
6. The Lord's Joy in Us
7. Joy in Christ's Second Coming
Chapter 4 - Praise is Joy in Action
Psalm 67:3-7 "Let
the people praise thee, O God; let all the people
praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for
joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and
govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people
praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
[Then] shall the earth yield her increase; [and] God,
[even] our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless
us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him."
Praise is joy in
action. It proactively brings us into God's presence,
opens the heavens above us so that our prayers are
heard, and yields a harvest of blessings in our lives.
It earmarks us as the very children of God and
facilitates the release of His power and glory in the
earth. Just as faith without works is dead, so is joy
without corresponding action. That action reaches its
consummation in praise and worship!
There will be much
praising and rejoicing as the Kingdom of God is
ushered in on the earth. The Lord's power and glory
will manifest as never before in the days ahead, and
we ought to be quick and ready to join the angelic
hosts to praise and thank Him for His love and mercy.
We should joyfully anticipate His promises, even
before we see His miraculous signs and wonders
occurring all over the earth.
There will be mass
healings and the dead will be raised. There will be
creative restorative miracles of all kinds - people
will be given lost limbs and replacement body parts. A
multitude of new believers will flock to hear the
Gospel of the Kingdom and be baptized, as a result of
all of these signs and wonders. World governments will
be shaken, reorganized according to Kingdom principles
and peace will be restored to the earth.
Jesus Christ will
Himself return to judge with all righteousness. He
will punish all iniquity and forever ban it from
entering in to His Kingdom. We will help Him restore
all of creation to its original beauty. He will
provide all our needs; we will dwell in peace and
safety for all eternity. The Lord will be our God and
we will be His people, who fellowship with Him in
total joy as we once did in the Garden of Eden.
Psalm 22:25 "My
praise [shall be] of thee in the great congregation: I
will pay my vows before them that fear him."
As the church and
Bride of Christ, we are to follow the example of
Christ Himself. He considered reverential praise as
His vow to be paid to the Father. In this prophetic
Messianic psalm, it is implied that Jesus reflected on
His suffering death, and yet still He praised
God in the midst of the people. He showed us by
example that God is worthy of all praise despite the
difficulties we may encounter in this world.
Jesus rejoiced that
the Lord was with Him in His earthly ministry and
especially in all of His suffering and travail. His
thankfulness manifested in praise and was a great joy
to the Father. The main reason that Christ carried
such a strong anointing to do good wherever He went
was due to the fact that the Lord dwelt in His
praises. Praise gave Him incomprehensible power,
strength and endurance for all that He encountered in
His time on the earth.
"Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy
No matter how much
darkness seems to enshroud us, regardless of our
individual situations and circumstances, we should
also praise and worship the Lord. We should give Him
thanks and praise in all things we experience. When we
praise, we get our minds and emotions off of problems
and focus on the Lord as our source. We enhance our
fellowship with God and with one another. We develop
our faith and renew our hope for the future.
Praise gets God's
attention, waters the ground for our prayers to be
heard, and generates joy, peace and contentment in our
spirits. It improves our outlook on life, helps us to
deal effectively with our challenges, and stimulates
zeal and enthusiasm in us. We promote love and unity
through group praise, and we renew our strength and
optimism to serve God and others.
There is a
cumulative effect in corporate praise and worship.
Love and unity please the Lord and He takes special
notice of it. The more who are gathered together, the
greater the likelihood of the Lord manifesting His
presence in our midst. The awesome power and glory of
God seem to descend on a praising church. The
anointing is tangible and strong, and exponentially
increased in all who are present.
There can be awesome
healings and miraculous outpourings of the Holy Spirit
in our gatherings when we enthusiastically praise and
worship God as a group. The Lord quickly makes His
presence known and shows Himself strong. Our prayers
are more effective and we receive immediate results.
We have an awesome God that is worthy of all our
reverential praise, and He delights in the joyful
praises of His people.
Psalm 42:4 "When I
remember these [things], I pour out my soul in me: for
I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the
house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a
multitude that kept holyday."
Praise and worship
don't just benefit God; they have positive effects in
our lives too. When we praise from hearts that
overflow with the love of God, we forget our troubles
and disappointments. We forget our differences with
one another. Praise stimulates our joy. We elevate our
spirit man to be in ascendancy to our flesh and our
soul, so that we can serve the Lord with a fresh zeal
Our service is
seemingly effortless as we go about our days praising
the Lord in everything that we do. We are fueled and
fortified with praise in our spirits and our joy knows
no bounds. We enter into His sabbath rest as we praise
Him, with the confidence that He is in control over
all the details of our lives. Every day becomes a holy
day - a special celebration of life - as we lift our
hearts and spirits to Him in all out praise and
Psalm 50:23 "Whoso
offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that
ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the
salvation of God."
praise and joyful thanksgiving falls short of what God
expects of us as heirs to salvation, and may even
render our prayer ineffectual. When we praise the Lord
we glorify Him and acknowledge His goodness, power and
might. We honor Him with our praises and we unleash
all of heaven's blessings in our lives.
That assures us that
our prayers are heard and our petitions are granted.
We should praise first, then thank Him for His
goodness, them mention our petitions. He is not slow
to hear when we precede all our supplication with
praise and thanksgiving, even before the answers to
our prayers manifest in the natural realm.
We need not be in a
specific place, or with a group of people present, to
praise God. We can praise the Lord privately with our
very lives. Everything that we say and do can be a
sweet aroma of praise to Him. He is glorified in all
our words and actions, when we consecrate them to His
holy purpose, and offer them up in a spirit of praise.
It's true that we
must sometimes make a "sacrifice of praise," and
purposefully praise when we least feel like rejoicing.
We may be sad or discouraged. It may be that our lives
are filled with the cares of this world. This is the
very time when we ought to praise God the most. He
will always respond with increased joy and peace for
We unleash unlimited
radical joy as a result of our continuous, ongoing
praises to Him. Praise stimulates our faith, hope and
confidence for the future. It will improve our
attitudes and strengthen us to overcome our situations
and circumstances. Praise will promote spiritual,
emotional and physical well-being, and encourage us to
serve the Lord with joy and gladness.
Praise Without Ceasing
Psalm 71:8 "Let my
mouth be filled [with] thy praise [and with] thy
honour all the day."
suggests that we should maintain an ongoing attitude
of praise in our personal communication with the Lord.
Scripture tells us to "pray without ceasing," but we
should take that exhortation a step further and
praise without ceasing! This life-style of praise
glorifies God and gets His attention in a huge way. He
will generously provide all that we need and release
endless joy in our spirits.
The Lord is worthy
of all praise and we must remember that all of
creation is expected to show forth His praises. The
least we can do - created in His very own image and
likeness - is to maintain attitudes of gratitude, and
glorify His Name enthusiastically and continuously as
we go about our daily lives. He will abide closely
with us and provide us with the power to do all things
if we praise Him in everything that we say and do.
Hebrews 13:15 "By
him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to
God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips
giving thanks to his name."
Through the Blood of
Jesus we were made righteous and acceptable to our
God. Our praise is our sacrificial offering to Him in
thanks for all that He has done for us. The joy itself
that we experience in praising God will produce
positive results in our lives, and promote more
praising and joy in return.
effects of continual praise are phenomenal. We will be
spiritually strong, mentally balanced and feel
refreshed and revitalized. As all our needs are met,
our spirits will rejoice even more. We definitely walk
in the supernatural realm of unlimited possibilities
when we praise and worship the Lord as an ongoing way
Fight Depression With Praise
Isaiah 61:3 "To
appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto
them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
We can effectively
fight off sorrow and depression, fear and anxiety, if
we take the time to energetically praise and worship
the Lord. This will stimulate our joy as we trade
spirits of heaviness for spirits of praise. We will
find our faith increased, and our resolve to serve the
Lord enhanced with every word of praise we offer Him.
The Lord is generous in rewarding those who are
diligent, and He responds most favorably to a praising
people that put their trust in Him.
So too, our general
health and well-being improves as we offer up our
praises. It elevates our moods through increased
hormone production in our bodies. Our self-confidence
is bolstered; our hope and confidence is renewed; and
our ability to relate with others is enhanced. Our joy
and peace increase tremendously with every word of
praise we voice.
Praise will defend
us against every attack of the enemy that would bring
negativity and depression, worry, anxiety and fear on
us. The devil hates a praising Christian because He
knows that we are not passive. When we praise God, we
are on alert and proactive in preventing all enemy
oppression. So too, praise takes us into the very
presence of God, where no enemy can penetrate.
Revelation 19:5 "And
a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our
God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both
small and great."
enthusiastic praise and heart-felt thanksgiving will
always bring the Lord on the scene rapidly and
dramatically. His anointing power rests on a praising
people. We will require a full impartation of God's
power and authority to usher in His Kingdom on the
earth. Now more than ever, we must give ourselves to
passionate heart-felt prayer and all out praises to
We will require
power, strength and endurance to bring in the full
end-time harvest of souls that is necessary. We will
need an extraordinary amount of revelation and wisdom
to minister to men's needs in a darkened world. We
will require unlimited joy and optimism to persuade
them to be baptized and repent of their sins.
A fresh anointing of
the Holy Spirit will help us to be patient in trials
and tribulations. It will cause us to be most
effective in healing and working miracles that
demonstrate the actual power and glory of God on the
earth. So too, we will need the anointing of Christ to
destroy demonic strongholds that hold men in
and praise will all need to take first place in our
lives despite how busy and active our schedules
become. We are to be humble and obedient and praise
God constantly and enthusiastically, as we go about
performing our individual roles in His eternal
redemption plan. This way we will have his ongoing
attention and active participation in all that we do
to usher in His Kingdom on the earth.
Topics for Discussion
1. Describe Joy in Action
2. How Does Praise Relate to Joy?
3. Corporate Praise
4. Private Praise
5. Praise Without Ceasing
6. Fight Depression With Praise
7. Radical Praise
Chapter 5 - Commanded to Praise
Psalm 96:11-12 "Let
the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let
the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field
be joyful, and all that [is] therein: then shall all
the trees of the wood rejoice."
The Bible doesn't
simply "suggest" that we praise, but rather "commands"
it of all creation! The earth and the heavens are to
show forth God's praise and give Him glory with their
very essence. The hills and the mountains, the rivers,
streams and oceans all give God praise in their own
way. Plants and animals acknowledge His greatness;
angels in heaven sing His praises continuously; and
man pays Him the ultimate compliment in praise,
worship and prayer.
Praise isn't an
option; God is worthy to be praised and He expects it
of us. We are created to fellowship with Him, and our
praise is the culmination of that intimacy. If we want
all that the Lord promises us, we should praise and
thank Him before making our needs known. So too, we
ought to thank and praise Him again even before our
prayers are answered.
Praise is good for
us and pleasing to God; it is a positive celebration
of life itself. Praise enhances our relationship with
the Lord and with one another. It stimulates our joy
and takes it to a higher level. It improves our
spiritual, mental and physical functioning. Is it any
wonder that the Lord commands us to praise? He always
has our best interests at heart, and His commands are
Psalm 98:4-8 "Make a
joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud
noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the
LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a
psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful
noise before the LORD, the King. Let the sea roar, and
the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell
therein. Let the floods clap [their] hands: let the
hills be joyful together."
encourages us to praise the Lord loudly and
exuberantly. He encourages us to add music to our
praise. The entire universe is urged to praise God
with its very existence. To approach the throne of
God, to enter into His presence in an intimate
fashion, requires our enthusiastic praise,
thanksgiving and worship.
That is perhaps why
there are legions of angels in heaven that do nothing
but praise and worship the Lord continuously. All the
earth reflects the glory of God and is commanded to
sound His praises, each creature in its own way. All
creation should echo with the praises of the Lord, and
will definitely do so for all eternity, when He
completes His redemption plan and ushers heaven in to
the earth realm.
Praise and Thanksgiving
Psalm 100:4 "Enter
into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his
courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless
The Lord comes on
the scene when we praise. In fact, I have heard it
said, that the Lord "inhabits the praises" of His
people. He actually comes into our presence and
reveals Himself to us, when we praise and thank Him,
whether we are in the church congregation or
worshipping Him in private. His power and glory
manifest even stronger as we go deeper into our praise
and worship. He empowers us from on high to perform
supernatural feats in His Name.
The awesome majesty
of our Creator requires and deserves thanksgiving,
praise and worship. If we will praise and worship the
Lord continuously, we will see His glory manifested in
miraculous signs and wonders more and more in the days
to come. In fact, it is vital that we praise, so that
He does in fact come on the scene, and intervene on
Collosians 3:17 "And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father
Praise need not be
ostentatious and showy, but can be as simple as
humming our favorites hymns and worship songs, or
speaking thankful, affirmative words that glorify God
in all His majesty. Praise is an attitude that can
pervade in all our actions. It elevates us from the
mundane to the supernatural realm from start to
We can offer a
continuous praise to the Lord as we go deeper in our
relationship with Him. That will trigger revelation
from heaven and a sense of powerful peace, joy and
contentment in us. Our lives can be a constant and
fitting tribute of praise to the Lord, with all our
words and actions lifted up for His honor and glory.
Praise and Reverence
"For great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised:
he also [is] to be feared above all gods. For all the
gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the
heavens. Glory and honour [are] in his presence;
strength and gladness [are] in his place. Give unto
the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the
LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory
[due] unto his name: bring an offering, and come
before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of
We need to remember
that the Lord is to be reverenced and feared above all
others. He demands that we show deference and respect
to His mighty Name. Our praise should never be
haphazard or insincere. Praise should be our
purposeful sacrificial offering, an exuberant and
respectful overflow of our love for God. Nothing
brings us into His presence quicker than giving Him
reverential praise and worship.
We can combine our
praise with prayer, meditation and reading the Word,
which only pleases the Lord all the more. He is a God
of relationship, and wants to continually fellowship
with us. He is interested in the minutest aspects of
our lives, and when we share these with Him, that
gives added praise and glory to Him as our Creator and
the provider of all our needs.
Psalm 89:7 "God is
greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
and to be had in reverence of all [them that are]
We are commanded to
show reverential praise to the Lord in our public
worship. That does not mean that we cannot show
spontaneous joy in praising Him. It simply means that
everything we do should be a fitting tribute and
appropriate to His holiness. He is a mighty and
powerful God as well as a loving one, and we must
always show Him deference and respect.
Everything ought to
be done decently and orderly in the congregation.
Praise cannot be so enthusiastic that it becomes
careless and slipshod. It is not meant to be an
ostentatious show of emotionalism and theatrics. It
should be in good taste and well balanced with other
forms of worship, perhaps music and song.
We are able to
structure our praise and worship time to include a
healthy balance of reading the Word, meditation and
prayer also. We should continually seek the Lord's
face, that is to say, desire deeper intimacy with Him.
In whatever we do, we ought to reverentially fear the
Lord and give Him respect and honor.
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be
moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear:"
We are to serve the
Lord with reverence in all that we do. He is a great
and fearsome God, and worthy of all praise and honor.
Yet He demands that we show deference and respect to
Him, as well. We are about to receive the Kingdom of
God right here on the earth, and in it we will show
ongoing reverential praise and worship for the Lord
for all eternity.
We will actually
dwell in His holy presence forever. That means that we
need to learn how to interact with the Lord
appropriately. While He loves our joy and praise, He
is not impressed with pretended piety or sanctimonious
showmanship. He wants us to be genuine and real in how
we interact with Him and with one another. While
praise is His heart's desire, the Lord also values
prayer and study of His Word. All of these enhance our
relationship with Him.
defines a "psalm" as a "sacred song or poem". Psalms
were created to acknowledge God's love and goodness,
to show reverence and praise to the Lord. The Hebrew
name for the Book of Psalms is "The Book Of Praises,"
and there are one hundred fifty different songs/poems
included in the Bible.
Moses and others who remain anonymous all authored the
psalms. They deal with God and His creation, sin and
rebellion, praise and worship. There are psalms of
praise, penitential psalms, prayers for safety and
victory in battle, and even revelatory Messianic
psalms. Each one of the psalms has a basic theme, but
the undercurrent is always to give praise to the Lord
for all that He is and all that He has done for us.
The psalms are
filled with the mandate that all of creation must
acknowledge the Lord's greatness. Psalms 145 through
150 are all praise psalms in which the nation of
Israel, all of mankind, nature, and even the heavenly
hosts are urged to praise God with their very essence.
King David praised
the Lord continuously.
We all know the
importance that the psalms played in King David's
life. He loved the Lord deeply, and was in constant
communication with Him. He either authored or sang the
majority of the psalms in praise and worship to the
Lord. Psalm 51 is perhaps one of David's better known
and most beautiful of the prayers for forgiveness.
Psalms 51:9-12 "Hide
thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine
iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and
renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from
thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold
me [with thy] free spirit."
This may have been
written after David committed adultery with Bathsheba
and ordered the death of her husband. His relationship
with the Lord had been interrupted due to his
transgressions. In it, he cries out in total
repentance to the Lord for mercy, refreshing and
restoration of his joy. He wants always to remain in
God's presence where all blessings reside. The Lord
not only forgave King David, but strengthened him and
restored his righteousness.
Psalm 63:7 "Because
thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy
wings will I rejoice."
David knew that He
could always count on the Lord for mercy and strength
for his warfare. The Lord saw him through many great
battles and he always came through unscathed and
emerged stronger as a king. David had a truly intimate
relationship with the Lord; he literally dwelled in
the "shadow of His wings" in total protection.
Psalm 91:1-2 "He
that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shaows of the Almighty. I will
say of the Lord , He is my refuge and my fortress: my
God; in him will I trust."
Psalm 91 is known as
the warrior's psalm; it is often invoked by men going
into battle. It is a prayer of petition for the Lord's
supernatural protection and victory over the enemy. It
gives Him praise and honor for protecting His people
in combat situations.
King David's entire
relationship with the Lord was built on praise and
worship. He praised the Lord in hard times as well as
in success. He called on other men and all of creation
to sound praises to the Lord for all eternity. One
reason that the Lord loved David and overlooked so
many of His personal flaws, is that he truly loved God
and demonstrated that love in his praising lifestyle.
We should imitate
David's zeal and enthusiasm for praising the Lord, as
we prepare to usher in the Kingdom of God on the
earth. We will need supernatural protection as we go
about doing the works that Jesus did. We will require
an unending source of joy to remain well balanced and
confident in our service to God and others. Praise
will unleash unlimited resources in our lives, as the
Lord Himself intervenes and advocates for our success.
Topics for Discussion
1. Why the Command to Praise
2. Praise and Thanksgiving
3. Why Praise Without Ceasing?
4. Reverence and Fear of the Lord
5. Psalms - Topics and Purposes
6. King David and Praise
7. Review the 91st Psalm
Chapter 6 - Types of Praise and Worship
Psalm 9:2 "I will be
glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy
name, O thou most High."
There are many types
of praise and worship; all are acceptable and
desirable to the Lord. Singing, dancing, prayers of
praise and thanksgiving, flag waving, shouting and
clapping are all pleasing to God. Any form of
reverential praise and worship that comes from the
heart should be encouraged and welcome both in the
church, and in private devotions.
"Hallelujah" is an exclamation of reverence or a shout
of praise to God, used to express joy or thanksgiving.
It is a positive affirmation that we not only
acknowledge the Lord, but rejoice in His holy Name.
Praise can be as simple as that, or as elaborate as we
would want it to be.
Living our daily
lives joyfully is another form of ongoing praise to
God. Being both loving and obedient is a high form of
praise to the Lord that speaks of our righteousness.
We should praise the Lord continuously and
enthusiastically with our very lives. Let's see what
the Scriptures say about the many methods of praise
used to express our spiritual joy and reverence for
Psalm 100:2 "Serve
the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with
Temple singers were
an important part of the worship team that accompanied
the Old Testament priests in their sacrificial
ceremonies; they paved the way for prayer to be heard.
The psalms were spiritual poems often set to music by
King David and other authors. Song was considered an
integral part of the people's worship in the days
before Christ, and since His advent.
We aren't certain
that Jesus praised the Lord in song, but it may very
well be that He approved of it as fitting tribute to
His heavenly Father. He probably chanted in the
synagogue in prayer, praise and thanksgiving. The
early Christian church often greeted each other with
hymns and holy songs. This got the Lord's attention
and kept their joy at a high level.
Cantors are still
important in Jewish synagogue worship as they lead the
congregation in prayer that is set to music in a
chant. The Catholic Church has engaged in song and
prayer chants for centuries as a normal part of its
liturgy. Many Protestant sects start their praise and
worship with both traditional hymns and modern songs
that set the mood for deeper worship.
says: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks
always for all things unto God and the Father in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul urged the early
Christians to give thanksgiving and praise to the Lord
in song as evidence that they were filled with the
Holy Spirit. He advised that we sing privately to
ourselves, to elevate our spirits and strengthen us in
the inner man. He encouraged his followers to always
give thanksgiving and make melody in their hearts.
Today we should
strive to glorify the Lord both in public and private
worship, through singing, praise and prayers of
thanksgiving of our own. God is pleased with all types
of songs. There is contemporary praise and worship
music, country rock or chorales. Hymns and choruses
are great vehicles for group participation. We can
make up our own songs or follow more traditional
paths. It doesn't matter to Him if we sing on key or
off key; the Lord is simply delighted in our efforts.
Some of the most
beautiful hymns of all time were written as a form of
praise to the Lord, and if nothing else, we can hum
along with them reverently full of praise and worship.
We can sing during times of private praise, as well.
Singing is a demonstration of joy and gladness in the
Lord, and good for our spirits, souls and bodies.
Psalm 149:3" Let
them praise his name in the dance: let them sing
praises unto him with the timbrel and harp."
When we praise the
Lord, we should do so unashamedly, without regard for
other people's opinions. Anything and everything done
tastefully and reverentially is acceptable tribute to
Him. Our very enthusiasm and expectancy helps to
create an atmosphere of praise and worship conducive
to bringing Him on the scene.
To dance before the
Lord is not only appropriate but a dramatic, kinetic
way to demonstrate our joy and praise. It is very
special to see spiritual dance accompany singing and
musical instrumentation in honor of the Lord. It turns
the most mundane of worship services into a festival
of celebration. Some countries have public processions
on church feast days in which several participants
will dance before God.
King David danced
exuberantly before the Lord as a spontaneous show of
joy and worship, when the Ark of the Covenant -
signifying the presence of God with His people - was
brought to Jerusalem early in his reign. He was
scantily clad in nothing more than a loincloth, the
Scriptures tell us, yet his praise was acceptable and
pleasing to God.
2Samuel 6:14 "And
David danced before the LORD with all [his] might; and
David [was] girded with a linen ephod."
Although his wife,
Michal, disapproved and mocked him for making a
spectacle out of himself, David defended his action as
fitting and proper. He was grateful that the Lord had
called him as king and he loved the Lord with total
abandon. He expressed his praise and thanksgiving in
poetry, song and dance. The king had a radical,
playful joy that delights the Lord.
2Samuel 6:21: "And
David said unto Michal, [It was] before the LORD,
which chose me before thy father, and before all his
house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the
LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the
David was grateful
to the Lord for his many blessings and for his
kingship. Michal was Saul's daughter; her own father
had been King of Israel, yet never worshipped the Lord
like her husband, David, did. She felt he was showing
off, but David was sincere in His praise and the Lord
rewarded him freely and generously.
Flag Waving and Banners
Psalm 20:5 "We will
rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God
we will set up [our] banners: the LORD fulfil all thy
combine dancing with flag and banner waving, which is
also a fitting tribute of praise and worship. This
type of pageantry goes back to medieval days, but
often has a very modern twist to it in today's praise
and worship sessions. It may be an integral part of
the liturgy where some church services start with
processions of banner waving.
Flag and banner
waving is often accompanied by song and orchestration,
and not only looks beautiful, but sets the praise mood
for a tremendous outpouring of the anointing. It is
reminiscent of the palm fronds that were waved at
Jesus by the cheering crowds, when He made His
triumphant entry into Jerusalem prior to His death.
Psalm 100:1 "Make a
joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands."
I am convinced that
the Lord loves the sound of musical instruments. We're
told in Scriptures that the Israelites used the
shofar, a ram's horn trumpet, to call solemn
assemblies of the people. There are references to
trumpets that will sound when Christ returns. The harp
and lyre were used to set the psalms to music. Musical
instruments pave the way for great and glorious moves
of God, and they are beautiful tools for praise and
The Lord is not
particular when it comes to musical instruments. He
loves percussion as much as the strings. He delights
in horns as well as keyboards. The most important
instrument to use in praising God is the one that
helps you spontaneously show your love and admiration
Psalm 43:4 "Then
will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding
joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my
The Bible speaks of
harps, lyres, cymbals and other stringed instruments
being used to praise God. We use tambourines in our
worship today, as well as many traditional musical
instruments. All forms of music give glory to the
Lord, from liturgical music to Christian jazz and
rock. Even children can be taught to praise the Lord
with small musical instruments of their own.
Psalm 92:1-4 says:
"[It is a] good [thing] to give thanks unto the LORD,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. To
shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy
faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten
strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a
solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad
through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy
orchestration in praise and worship create an awesome
environment for high praise to the Lord. This is an
atmosphere in which we can naturally and easily bring
God on the scene. He manifests His glorious presence
whenever and wherever there is wide participation in a
variety of praise and worship in the congregation.
Shouting and Clapping
When it comes to
praise and worship, the more noise, the better. The
Lord loves a party thrown in His honor. Singing and
dancing, shouting and clapping all give glory to the
Lord if done enthusiastically and reverentially.
Each is fitting and
acceptable praise in God's sight. He is not so
concerned with how we praise, but that we do it from
pure hearts and sincere spirits that reach out to Him.
We are never disappointed in praise and worship, as it
always calls the Lord on the scene in closer
fellowship with us. He wants His people to be fully
alive and joyous in His presence.
Psalm 47:1 "O clap
your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the
voice of triumph."
We applaud secular
entertainers routinely, without giving it a second
thought. The Lord is all mighty and powerful, and
eminently worthy of our grateful clapping and reverent
shouting. This is a form of praise that we all can and
should engage in. The more exuberant the applause, the
better it is. Our services need not be lifeless and
somber. We are the children of God and our joy should
have no limits.
Psalm 35:27 "Let
them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my
righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let
the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the
prosperity of his servant."
and the sound of a trumpet brought the victory in
battle for Joshua at Jericho. Joshua and his army had
the city surrounded and isolated. What remained of
their conquest was for them to actually penetrate the
city walls and take the king and the residents
Joshua organized a
procession of men bearing the Ark of the Covenant,
together with priest trumpeters, to march around the
city with his army once a day for six days, as the
Lord directed him. On the seventh day, the troupe
marched around Jericho seven times and then shouted
for victory until the walls fell down.
Joshua 6:20 "So the
people shouted when [the priests] blew with the
trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard
the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with
a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that
the people went up into the city, every man straight
before him, and they took the city."
It's important to
remember that the Lord Himself ordered the marching,
trumpeting and shouting to bring the victory without
violence and bloodshed. As Zechariah 4:6
reminds us, the battle is not won by a show of
physical might and power, but by His Holy Spirit.
Obedient praise definitely caused the Lord to show up
on the scene to vindicate His people.
thanksgiving always get God's attention. We should
thank Him even before we recite our petitions and
receive the answers to our prayers. Thanksgiving ought
to be a constant part of our fellowship with Him,
since He provides for all of our needs. We should be
eminently grateful that He thinks of us and responds
generously to all we require.
It's impossible to
give the Lord thanks and not remember His goodness to
us. He is an all loving, generous God, ever ready and
willing to provide for all our needs spiritually and
temporally. He is worthy of all praise and
thanksgiving, not just because He meets our needs, but
because of all that He is to us.
Psalms 100:4 "Enter
into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his
courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless
We must always
maintain an attitude of gratitude towards the Lord.
Praise and thanksgiving should be spontaneous
outpourings of joy, fragrant offerings to the Lord.
They buoy our human spirits. They help us to enter in,
and remain in, His presence. They bring us into
intimate fellowship with Him and assure us that our
prayers are heard from heaven.
Praise improves our
moods and enhances our physical well-being. It
stimulates peace and joy in our lives, and gives us
hope and confidence for the future. So too, the enemy
cannot penetrate our praises. While he may hate a
praising Christian, he also respects that praise takes
us into God's very presence where we are safe from all
of his oppression.
"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto
the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble:
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
thanksgiving are not only for times of public worship,
but should be an integral part of our private prayer
life, as well. Praise takes us into the presence of
God quickly, as nothing else can. It waters the ground
for our prayers to be heard and answered.
Coupled with praying
in the Holy Spirit and thanksgiving, praise generates
a manifestation of the glorious anointing power of
God. It is not unusual to see dramatic healings or
other miraculous signs and wonders follow an exuberant
praise and worship session.
Psalm 119:62 "At
midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because
of thy righteous judgments."
For our moments of
overwhelming heaviness in spirit, when we need most to
restore our joy, we must remember to give thanks
regardless of the circumstances. Praise will alleviate
all fear, anxiety and depression. It will stimulate
joy and peace, and give us confidence to overcome our
situation and circumstances.
The Lord often wakes
and speaks to us in the middle of the night,
particularly if we are intercessors or burden bearers.
It's always beneficial to give Him thanks and praise
when we are approaching the throne of grace in
petition or supplication, regardless of what time of
the night or day it happens to be.
Psalms 30:4-5 "Sing
unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at
the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger
[endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life:
weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in
We should give the
Lord thanks and praise, not just for what He does for
us, but for everything He is - holy, righteous,
loving, kind, and merciful in all His ways. And while
we ought to have a reverential fear of the Lord, He is
equally concerned with establishing close fellowship
with us. He wants intimacy with His sons and
daughters, as He will be spending all eternity with
praise, in combination with prayer and meditation will
rapidly bring us into the Lord's presence and
stimulate our joy. We can present our needs at the
throne of grace, and be assured that our prayers are
not only heard, but quickly answered as well. While we
may temporarily experience pain and sorrow, joy always
follows our praising!
Rejoicing in the Lord
Psalm 68:3 "But let
the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God:
yea, let them exceedingly rejoice."
The Lord wants us to
dwell in supernatural joy and gladness at all times.
He wants us in right standing with Him, and
immediately rewarded for our righteousness. It is His
desire that we would be continuously rejoicing in Him.
We can do that easily, if we will focus on Him instead
of our situations and circumstances. We should
consider the joy that our relationship with the Lord
brings us as the most important part of our lives.
Rejoicing in the
Lord can become almost automatic and a joyful way of
life to us. It will give us an optimistic outlook and
strengthen us for anything and everything we may be
called to endure. It will fuel us for all forms of
opposition with the enemy, and protect us from pain
and suffering in all trials and tribulations.
Psalm 105:3 "Glory
ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice
that seek the LORD."
As we seek the Lord
and His way of doing things, we are never
disappointed. He always answers our prayers and
fulfills our longing for truth. He shares revelation
with us into the deeper things of God, and provides us
with insight into the mysteries of the faith. We
should rejoice with all of our being that we do not
have a God that is distant and forbidding, but rather,
loving, kind and generous to meet all of our needs.
The Lord wants to
fellowship intimately with His people. The Bible
promises us that in the fullness of days, when
Christ's Kingdom is ushered into the earth, the Father
will actually take up residence with us on terra
firma. We will be His people and He will be our God
forever and ever.
This should be cause
for exceeding joy and ongoing praise in those who love
Him and seek His presence.
Topics for Discussion
1. Types of Praise
2. Singing and Music
3. Dancing and Flag Waving
4. Shouting and Clapping
6. Rejoicing in the Lord
Chapter 7 - Joy and Praise as Weapons of Warfare
Joy and praise are
significant weapons of spiritual warfare. They arm us
mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They fortify
our inner man, eliminate oppression and protect us
from any attacks of the enemy. Joyful praise bolsters
our hope and confidence, strengthening us beyond our
human capacity. It will help us walk in the
supernatural realm of victory over all our situations
Scripture tells us
that Jesus stripped the devil of his power and
vanquished him forever at Calvary. However, until
Christ returns, he will harass and torment the Body of
Christ on the earth. We must all become more skillful
in the use of joy and praise as weapons of spiritual
warfare. That way we will defeat the enemy before he
even has an opportunity to come at us.
tells us "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not
war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare
[are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds."
We do not war in our
flesh, but rather in the spirit realm. There are
defensive weapons and offensive weapons of spiritual
warfare; "radical joy" serves as both. While it may
not seem to be a conventional weapon for warfare,
joyful praise is mighty for destroying demonic
strongholds, and for fortifying us against all enemy
Joy as a Defensive Weapon
"Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them
rejoice that seek the LORD."
As a spiritual
fruit, the joy of the Lord helps us remain on an even
keel emotionally, mentally, physically and
spiritually. It stabilizes our moods and keeps our
bodies healthy. It helps us stay at peace during times
of trial and tribulation.
Joy keeps us in the
presence of God, so that we can be continually filled
with the Holy Spirit and receive the Lord's guidance
and direction. Together with love and obedience, joy
helps us tap directly into God's anointing power and
glory, so that we can take dominion over all our
situations and circumstances. It defends us against
attacks of the enemy on many fronts.
If we have joy, our
immune systems function better, preventing disease.
Attacked by depression or fear, joy helps us regain
our confidence. It combats feelings of sorrow and
isolation, low self-esteem and guilt. It gives us hope
and confidence for the future. Joy draws people to us,
so that we do not have to face the trials of life all
Psalm 51:12 "Restore
unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with
thy] free spirit."
The joy of the Lord
is our strength. When we lose our joy we become
spiritually vulnerable and subject to enemy oppression
and open attack. We should always ask the Lord to
restore our joy in the midst of warfare. Joy protects
our peace during times of chaos and confusion, and
increases our stamina and endurance to contend with
all overt and covert attacks of the enemy.
Similar to the other
components of our Ephesians 6 "spiritual
armor," joy serves as a spiritual cloak to cover and
protect us from the heat of the battle. It keeps us in
the Lord's presence where the ultimate protection and
Joy as an Offensive Weapon
Joy becomes an
offensive spiritual weapon, expressed in praise,
thanksgiving and worship. We should experience
joy in the middle of all our battles, because the Lord
Himself fights with us. Jesus said He would never
leave us or forsake us. If we trust in Him and His
promises, our joy will be full and powerful for
tearing down strongholds.
Christ defeated the
devil at Calvary with His victory over sin, death and
the grave. He gave us joy for sorrow, strength for
weakness and restored our dominion over everything in
the earth. The devil hates a praising Christian,
because we know who we are in Christ. We cannot be
vulnerable, weak or passive when we praise and worship
the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Satan cannot oppress
and defeat us if we resist him in any way. He will
flee far from us if we have joy and express it in our
praises. So too, the Lord Himself shows up to bring us
the victory when we praise and worship. The enemy
doesn't have a chance to harm us, when we are covered
by the Lord Himself. Our hedge of protection comes as
a direct result of our joyful praise.
King David as Our Role Model in Battle
Psalm 9:1-3 "I will
praise [thee], O LORD, with my whole heart; I will
shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad
and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O
thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back,
they shall fall and perish at thy presence."
King David expressed
his confidence in the Lord for strength and victory in
warfare. He sang praises to His name continuously in
the psalms. Expressing joy was an effective way for
David to bolster his strength and to enter into and
remain in the Lord's presence. It gave him great power
and might over natural and spiritual enemies.
Joy and praise will
work on our behalf in our spiritual battles as well.
It will take us into the Lord's presence as nothing
else can. It will increase our energy to ward off all
attacks of the enemy. It will stimulate our endorphins
and improve our mood and stamina. It will give us the
extra boost we need to bind the devil in all his
efforts and motivate us to loose blessing instead.
Psalm 27:6 "And now
shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round
about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle
sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing
praises unto the LORD."
used joy and praise as spiritual weapons, as He
fellowshipped with the Lord. He actually sang the
Lord's praises. Joy and praise were his sacrificial
offerings to God. And joy motivated him to serve God
will all his mind, heart, soul and strength. He was a
mighty warrior and a righteous king to his people
because of his joy in the Lord.
The joy of the Lord
is our strength too. We are joint-heirs with Christ;
His powerful anointing will come on the scene to
assist us when we give the Lord all the praise and
glory due Him. We will overcome the devil and the
world as we joyfully give praise to God for His
intervention in our all our affairs.
Scriptural Examples of Joy Used as a Weapon of Warfare
Acts, Chapter 16
describes an episode where Paul and Silas were
imprisoned for delivering a young woman from a spirit
of divination, depriving her slave owners of potential
income from her sorcery. They were locked in the
innermost area of the prison with no hope of release
until they began praying and singing hymns to God.
Their joyful praise
brought the Lord on the scene. A tremendous earthquake
occurred that shook the prison foundations and
loosened everyone's chains. The anointing fell,
and they even managed to convert the jailer and his
entire family - all as a result of their praise and
Judges 7:20 "And the
three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the
pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and
the trumpets in their right hands to blow [withal]:
and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon."
Gideon and his army
of Judges 7 defeated the Midianites with aggressive,
joyful praise. The Lord wanted to prove that it was
His might alone that would defeat the enemy. No hand
of the flesh would bring His people victory. He
permitted Gideon to take only three hundred unarmed
men with him into battle, together with trumpets and
jars with torches in them to light the way.
At the Lord's
command, they sounded their trumpets, broke the torch
jars and gave a yell of praise. The victory was
theirs, just as the Lord had promised them. God loves
to partner with a joyous, praising people. He is
always in our midst when we walk in supernatural joy.
Balance, Zeal and Optimism
Isaiah 59:17 "For he
put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet
of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments
of vengeance [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as
Joy is a fruit of
the Holy Spirit that promotes a sense of balance in us
that impacts our general good health - mentally,
emotionally, physically and spiritually. It combats
heaviness of spirit and eliminates depression. It
bolsters self-confidence in our life situation and
circumstances. Joy also stimulates health and wellness
in our bodies, and prevents premature aging.
As a spiritual
attribute, joy changes the atmosphere around us to one
charged with enthusiasm and zeal. It gives us inner
strength and endurance for whatever we are called upon
to experience in life. It is confirmation from the
Lord that we are in right standing and fellowship with
Him. It signifies personal stability and balance, and
is evidence that we have our spirit man in dominance
over our flesh and emotions.
Spiritual joy is
characterized by an overwhelming optimism that can be
present regardless of our situation and circumstances.
It is super-abundant well-being and happiness, but
even more than that. It gives us a positive outlook
and affects all our actions and relationships. Plus,
it is supernatural protection for the human spirit to
persist and endure any hardship or demonic oppression
that comes along.
Topics for Discussion
1. Spiritual Warfare and Joy
2. How Joy is Used Defensively
3. How Joy is Used Offensively
4. King David and Praise in Battle
5. Biblical Examples of Joy Used in Warfare
6. Balance, Zeal and Optimism
Chapter 8 - Joy Unspeakable
1Peter 1:7-8 "That
the trial of your faith, being much more precious than
of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the
appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye
love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
Peter talks about
the return of Jesus Christ as our ultimate joy. It has
been a trial of our faith to believe in Him and the
power of salvation. We have been scorned and ridiculed
by many, who scoff and say that He never existed and
will never return. We have not seen Him as of yet, yet
we sincerely believe and rejoice in all that He is, in
all that He accomplished on our behalf, and in all
that He promises us for the future.
Our faith in Christ
causes us to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
glory, because of all that He did for us. He took on
all our sins and gave us righteousness instead. He
bore our diseases and carried our infirmities, so that
we might be made whole. He traded our pain and sorrow
for joy and gladness. He defeated Satan so that we
might live without oppression, and take back the
authority that we once had over the earth.
All of these things
produce joy in us that is literally above and beyond
expression in mere words, yet it touches our very
hearts and spirits. It is exceeding gladness -
incomprehensible, supernatural, radical joy!
energizes and ignites our faith, stimulates our
gratitude, and motivates us to do great things for the
Lord and His eternal salvation plan. It causes us to
look like Christ, act like Him and walk as He walked.
It will encourage and strengthen us to embrace our
eternal destinies with enthusiasm, hope and
In the days ahead,
as we usher in the Kingdom of God, we will wait with
excited anticipation for the coming of our King. We
will serve Him in joy and gladness as we evangelize
all the world and bring in the end-time harvest of
souls. We will rejoice in the power of His anointing
to heal the sick and set captives free of enemy
domination. We will experience radical joy in raising
the dead and putting all enemies under Christ's feet,
as He has promised us we will do.
Acts 2:28 "Thou hast
made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me
full of joy with thy countenance."
Because of Christ's
atoning death on the cross, we have the promise of
salvation through forgiveness of our sin. We have
right relationship restored with Him and the Father.
We have Christ's very own resurrection power to
accomplish all that He asks of us in the days to come.
We can actually walk as He walked and do what He did,
if we will be quick to hear His voice and obedient to
follow in His footsteps.
We have better
promises in Christ. We have hope of a present and
future reward for all our efforts on His behalf. We
have the good news of the Kingdom of God that will
come on the earth even prior to His return. We will
know righteousness, peace and joy for all eternity.
There will be safety and security, no fear and
oppression in the Kingdom. We will long enjoy the
works of our hands, and be glorified among the
God is taking back
His people and all of His creation. He is restoring
all that the enemy stole from us. Satan will be
banished for all eternity; death and destruction will
have no hold over us.
We will rule and
reign with Christ, and enjoy the heathen for our
inheritance. We will raise our families in peace and
joy. We will dwell with our Savior, Jesus Christ, and
His heavenly Father in close intimate relationship for
all eternity. These facts are all cause for what I
call radical joy!
Joy in the Kingdom
"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice:
and let [men] say among the nations, The LORD
We will one day see
our Redeemer face-to-face. We can only imagine what
that will be like. His return will indeed be cause for
joy, as His glory and power are poured out for all the
earth to see. We will help Him banish evil for all
eternity, as we usher in the Kingdom of God. We have
the promise of Christ's return to reorganize all the
nations of the world, and He will rule and reign with
us in righteousness and peace forever.
The heavens and the
earth will rejoice as the entire universe is restored
to its original condition. Heaven will literally come
to the earth realm and impact it for all eternity. The
destruction and decay that's occurred in all of nature
over the years will be reversed. The entire planet
will be re-created as a beautiful harmonious whole. It
will be a new and improved version of the Garden of
Eden itself - a perfect habitat for both God and men.
Isaiah 25:8-9: "He
will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD
will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the
rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all
the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. And it shall
be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have
waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the
LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and
rejoice in his salvation."
Death will be
swallowed up thanks to Jesus' victory over sin, death
and the grave. Our mortal bodies will be changed in
their very essence, and we will put on immortal,
glorious, resurrection bodies. The dead saints will be
raised to walk in glory with us. There will be no more
disease and death, as both will be forever abolished.
We will live out our days in supernatural wellness and
joy for all eternity.
There will be no
more pain and sorrow in the Kingdom of God. Our tears
will be turned in to joy and gladness. There will be
no usury or oppression of any kind. Our peace, safety
and security will be ensured, as no evil will enter
into the Kingdom. Our redemption will be complete, as
we join Christ in the millennial reign as kings and
priests. For our former shame, we will enjoy praise,
honor and glory.
Israel Will be Restored
Psalm 65:18-19 "But
be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I
create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing,
and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall
be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying."
We are told to pray
for the salvation of Israel and the restoration of
God's chosen people. We have been grafted in and made
righteous due to their temporary disobedience.
However, a righteous remnant of the Jewish people will
be converted and saved in the days to come. They will
accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and be
baptized in His Name. The Messiah will rule and reign
over Israel as promised. The Jewish people will
be vindicated and redeemed; the Lord Himself will
rejoice in their return to Him.
Once a lost and
oppressed people, despised and feared throughout the
world, the nation of Israel will become a praise on
the earth. Their sadness will be a thing of the past
and their joy will be immeasurable, as they enjoy
complete reconciliation with the Lord. They will dwell
in love, peace and unity with all other believers in
the very presence of God forever and ever.
Psalm 126:1-5 "When
the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were
like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with
laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they
among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for
them. The LORD hath done great things for us;
[whereof] we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O
LORD, as the streams in the south. They that sow in
tears shall reap in joy."
We should all
rejoice that the nation of Israel will not be
destroyed off the face of the earth as the enemy has
planned over the years. It will be a sure sign to the
church and the Body of Christ that Christ's return is
imminent, when Israel is finally converted to the
Gospel of the Kingdom as a nation. We will rejoice as
Israel turns and believes on Jesus Christ as their
long awaited Messiah; their redemption will be
complete and their country will be spared.
The nations of the
earth will marvel as Israel is called in to the
Kingdom of God. They have been hated and scorned for
being God's chosen people, and their tears will turn
to joy as they are proudly reconciled to their God for
all of the world to see. He will take vengeance on
their enemies and restore all that His people have
lost over the years.
Then the Kingdom of
God will be populated with God's original chosen
people and those of us that He has grafted in - His
Bride and His Body. We will all dwell together in
peace and unity with our loving and gracious God
Himself. He will supply all of our needs in abundance
and we will celebrate life in His presence forever.
Rejoicing in the Body of Christ
Psalm 14:7 "Oh that
the salvation of Israel [were come] out of Zion! when
the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people,
Jacob shall rejoice, [and] Israel shall be glad."
Zion is a type and
shadow of the powerful church, the Body of Christ, in
the Old Testament. Men will rejoice in all that Jesus
Christ has done and will do for them when we usher in
the Kingdom of God on the earth. We will perform
miraculous signs and wonders to attract their
attention back to their Creator. We will heal the
sick, raise the dead and set captives free from enemy
oppression. All the earth will be impacted with the
love and mercy of God through eternal salvation.
We will help convert
Israel and all the nations of the world by preaching
the Gospel of the Kingdom to them. We will baptize in
Jesus' Name, and all men will have an opportunity to
be saved and enter into the Kingdom, so that the
people of God will be a unified whole. We will be
praised and glorified together with our Redeemer, as
we rule and reign over the entire world.
Isaiah 35:10 "And
the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to
Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and
sighing shall flee away."
The people of God
will be set free for all eternity to experience joy
and gladness for their former pain and sorrow. Our
captivity turned, we will have everything that's been
taken from us restored in abundance. The Lord will
anticipate all our needs and supply them even before
we ask. We will experience peace and prosperity, and
long enjoy the works of our hands. We will build
habitations and dwell in joy and peace with all men in
the presence of our loving God.
Jesus Christ will
wreak vengeance on all our enemies, and banish Satan
to the abyss. He will provide all of our needs for
safety and security in His Kingdom. No evil will
reside there; nothing defiling will contaminate life
for God's people. All of our spiritual and temporal
needs will be met, and we will enjoy love, joy, peace
and prosperity for all eternity.
Rejoicing in the Bride of Christ
Revelation 19:7 "Let
us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for
the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath
made herself ready."
Everybody loves a
wedding. Jesus Christ is returning to the earth for
His Bride, the church. This will be a true cause for
joy as the Bride has made herself ready, by purging
herself of all known sin and purifying herself in
holiness for the marriage. Christ is coming back for a
totally spotless, unblemished Bride to rule and reign
with Him for all eternity in the Kingdom of God on the
The church must walk
in total obedience, unity and love in these final
hours before Christ's return. She should be dedicated
to prayer and intercession for all believers. Nothing
can take pre-eminence over her pre-destined role; she
must be focused and dedicated to the coming of the
Kingdom. The Lord will direct her in all our ways, so
that she can provide active assistance to Jesus and
the Body of Christ as needed.
Radical Joy in the Lord
Psalm 35:9 "And my
soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in
Radical joy is
optimism and gladness taken up a notch so that it
permeates our entire being and influences us in all
that we do. It is the joy of the Lord Himself, and
will come to fruition in the Kingdom of God as we
experience life at its fullest. We will experience
radical joy, peace and prosperity, health and
longevity, safety and security. We will dwell together
in love and unity and fellowship with the Lord Himself
for all eternity.
The Lord intended
from the foundation of the world to dwell in love and
intimacy with mankind forever. It was His desire to
give us the entire earth and everything in it for our
pleasure and enjoyment. Adam's transgression in the
Garden of Eden interrupted the Lord's plans for our
lives, so He was forced to develop an alternate
strategy to save us from our sins and restore all that
was stolen from us by the enemy.
"Rejoice, O ye nations, [with] his people: for he will
avenge the blood of his servants, and will render
vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful
unto his land, [and] to his people."
God sent His Son,
Jesus Christ, to teach us His way of doing things and
to atone for our sins with His very own Blood.
Christ's victory over sin, death and the grave
redeemed us, and brought us back to right standing
with the Father. The devil was defeated and dominion
over the earth was given back to men. Through Christ,
we enjoy great promises for the future as joint-heirs
with Him to all of the promises of God.
We are already
experiencing a mighty move of God on the earth as He
pours out His glory in healings, miraculous signs and
wonders to get men's attention and draw them back to
The Lord is
empowering us to do great exploits in His Name. He has
endowed us with all His divine power and authority to
go forth and walk as Jesus walked. We will heal the
sick and raise the dead, and set captives free of
"Let the heavens be glad,
and let the earth rejoice: and let [men] say among the
nations, The LORD reigneth."
We will be
evangelizing the nations, reforming and realigning all
the governments of the world, so that peace reigns
over the earth. We will assist Christ in the righteous
judgment of both men and angels. He will give us the
heathen for our inheritance, and we will be just
rulers and able teachers of men from every race and
nation of the world. All the earth will rejoice in the
fact that our God reigns over them in love and mercy.
Our spirits, minds
and emotions should all be aligned with the Word of
God, and our very lives filled with expectancy, as we
make the Lord's plan our plan. We are fulfilling our
eternal destiny as the children of God. The Lord is
ever loving and merciful, and will reconcile all
things to Himself in the Kingdom of God. That will
truly be cause for overwhelming, radical joy that
sustains us through every trial and tribulation in the
days to come.
Joy Unspeakable in the Kingdom of God
"And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and
ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye
and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath
Now more than ever,
our heartfelt prayer should be "Thy Kingdom come on
earth as it is in heaven." God's promises to restore
us are not for some point off in the distant future.
They are for our generation and will come into reality
very soon as the Kingdom of God is established on the
earth even prior to Christ's return.
The Lord's eternal
redemption plan for mankind will be consummated. He
will take vengeance on all our enemies and banish them
from our midst. He will restore all that was stolen
from us and supply our needs in abundance. For our
former shame, we will know glory and honor as He makes
us a praise in all the earth. Instead of the sorrow
and pain we knew in our lives, we will be given joy
unspeakable, radical joy for all eternity.
We have made
ourselves ready; we have learned obedience and right
judgment. The Lord is now giving power and authority
back to men. We will have dominion over the entire
earth as He once intended. We will restore all things
to their original beauty and balance. We will rule and
reign in the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ for all
time to ensure that no evil will interrupt our lives
Joy in All Creation
All creation is
waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. They will
establish the Kingdom of God on the earth and herald
Christ's return. The Lord will pour out His awesome
power and glory on His people. There will be a
worldwide manifestation of the love and mercy of God.
The sick will be healed and the dead raised. There
will be miraculous signs and wonders in all of nature
to get men's attention and attract them to the Kingdom
way of life.
The Gospel of the
Kingdom will be preached to all the world. All men
will have an opportunity to be converted and baptized.
All captives of the enemy will be set free, and peace
will be brought to the earth once again. Christ's
Kingdom will prevail and absorb all earthly kingdoms
into one world government with justice for all.
Kingdom principles for right living will dictate how
men behave for all eternity.
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered
from the bondage of corruption into the glorious
liberty of the children of God. For we know that the
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain
together until now."
Satan took out his
wrath on the entire universe, when the Lord exiled him
from heaven for his disobedience. It's been in a state
of chaos and confusion for eons. When Adam sinned and
abdicated his role as caretaker of the earth in the
Garden of Eden, all of nature suffered. While it's
true that humans helped destroy the planet over the
years, the Kingdom of God promises re-creation and
restoration of all nature.
Plants, animals and
the climate will all be restored to their original
balance, with man in full authority and dominion over
them. There will be no more natural catastrophes. The
earth will yield bumper crops of all good things, and
men will be in awe of the beauty of creation once
again. The earth will be filled with the glory of God
in its new and improved form. The entire universe will
see and rejoice as the earth is restored to its
The Time is Now!
Ephesians 1:10 "That
in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both
which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in
The Lord's eternal
redemption plan is complete. He will gather all things
together in Christ - both those things in heaven and
on the earth - as He has planned and purposed
from the very foundation of the world. Now is the time
for heaven to come to the earth realm. This is
Christ's reward for perfect obedience, and He will
share His glory with those of us who have believed in
Him and were willing to usher in the Kingdom of God on
complete, we will experience supernatural peace and
joy as our bodies are changed from decaying flesh to
glorious, resurrection bodies. No longer subject to
disease and death, we will live forever. The dead in
Christ will rise and join us in the Kingdom with
believers from every nation of the world. We will all
dwell in love and unity, peace and prosperity
Christ will rule and
reign over all of creation, and we will assist Him in
restoring peace and order to the entire universe. Both
men and angels will be judged, and all evil expelled
from God's Kingdom. Nothing that defiles will be
permitted to interrupt the safety and security of
will co-exist with natural creatures. Angels will walk
with men. The plant and animal kingdoms and all of
nature will be re-created and subject to us in perfect
harmony. There will be no death and destruction in
God's Kingdom; peace and order will prevail.
Psalm 140:13 "Surely
the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the
upright shall dwell in thy presence."
The Lord Himself
will come to the earth to dwell with men in all His
power and glory. We will all be righteous and suitable
company for our Creator. We will commune with Him on
an intimate basis, as the Lord Himself meets all of
our needs, both temporal and spiritual. We will be
perpetually joyful in His presence, and He will
delight in our fellowship.
Everything we put
our hands to will prosper in the Kingdom of God. We
will partake of the earth's bounty with all gratitude
and thanksgiving. We will build homes and enjoy them
with our families for generation after generation. We
will live forever in total health and wellness. All
men will dwell together in love, peace and unity. We
will exalt the praises of the Lord and experience
radical joy for all eternity!
"Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God,
the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy
with them that love him and keep his commandments to a
Topics for Discussion
1. Describe Joy Unspeakable
2. Kingdom Joy
3. Restoration of Israel
4. Joy in the Body of Christ
5. Joy in the Bride of Christ
6. Joy in All Creation
7. What is Radical Joy?
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