Choose Joy

by Barb Fisher

We have been given keys that unlock the realm of glory and allows the Kingdom of God to be manifested upon the earth. (Matthew 16:19) Joy is just such a key. The Bible tells us in Romans 14:17, that joy is a component of the Kingdom of God. It is a part of the Kingdom of Heaven that can only be accessed by those who are citizens of that Kingdom. When we are “born-again,” we are actually “born from above.” This citizenship allows us to access the Kingdom of God, by faith, and bring it into existence on Earth.

While we are in this world, opportunities will arise to choose joy in the midst of trials and difficulties. In fact, it is only while we are in this world that we are given opportune moments to surrender to Holy Spirit and release the joy that is resident inside of us, because once in heaven, there won’t be any trials and difficulties. (Galatians 5:22) When we do that, it demonstrates the Kingdom of God to the world.

I pastor the residents at a local rehabilitation center. Once a week, I conduct a Bible study on the dementia unit. There is a woman, wheelchair-bound, who served the Lord as a missionary, living on that unit. God has instructed me to use joy-filled songs along with the telling of Bible stories. This woman never fails to joyfully praise her God to the full extent of her capabilities.
This past week, I told the story of how God parted the waters of the Jordan River for the Israelites to cross after wandering in the desert for forty years. Afterwards, I showed a video created to illustrate the song: Waymaker. I watched from the back of the room. I noticed her hands waving in the air, while her wheelchair vibrated. She was rejoicing in the Lord while dancing and lifting up her hands. In spite of her outward situation, she knew God was her Waymaker. This was not new for her, for this is her response every week as we worship God in joyful song.

Consider that her uncontainable joy is not based on the state of her life in this world. If we wait for our circumstances to be favorable before we express joy, then our circumstances are our Lord and not Jesus. To the world, joy would make absolutely no sense. When once this woman could travel everywhere, she now is limited to a wheelchair in a facility not more than one city block long. Once she could speak to others about the goodness of God and the way of salvation, now she has fallen back to her original language of Spanish, which no one pays attention to, much less can understand. But she shows them the goodness of God in her choice to be joyful. At one time she danced freely on two feet, now she moves as freely as possible, while being in a wheelchair. But she moves!

We all face hardships and difficulties at times in our lives, whether they be in the physical or the soulish realm. The enemy is relentlessly at work to steal, kill, and destroy all that is “God” in our lives. Psalms 23 says that God has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies. When we are suffering and the enemy appears to be overtaking us, we have a table that God has prepared whereby we can choose to eat. On that table is joy, delight, and purpose. These Heavenly delicacies are untainted and undefiled by this world. Much to the chagrin of the enemy, when we partake of God’s table, instead of his table, we find ourselves in the place of an Overcomer regardless of our circumstances. We overcome when we demonstrate through our lives the Kingdom of God, because when we do that, others see and know that God is the Lord. That, my friends, is our purpose.

1 Peter 1:8 says that there is a “…joy that is inexpressible and full of Glory.” This is the joy of Lord, which is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) To ignore such a powerful weapon against the enemy is to weaken our own position, and we miss out on the glorious inheritance of joy that God has promised us.  Holy Spirit joy produces hope, (Romans 15:13) which is the atmosphere whereby faith grows. Therefore, brothers and sisters, consider it ALL joy when you encounter trials, for when you do, God’s Kingdom comes to Earth in a powerful display of His Love and Goodness.
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1 Comment

Brandy - September 20th, 2022 at 10:43am

Yes! So good. His joy is our strength!!!