It’s All About the Joy!

 

Do you know why children are naturally joyful?  Because they don’t know how to worry.

Sure, they fuss when they need something, but they are naturally full of joy.  They see the world through a lens of purity, love and absolute joy in the delight of discovery.  As we get older, we lose that joy and innocence, but God wants to restore us to a place of childlike trust in Him.  It’s doesn’t come easy.  It comes with practice.

It starts by realizing that we really, truly, can trust Him – and letting go of all the things we can’t control.  It’s letting go of the answers we can’t produce and trusting Him to fulfill our desires and prayers in His time.  It’s a constant effort to let go and trust Him so that we can enter His rest.

So, thank God for whatever you’re dealing with.  Thank Him for being bigger than what you see going on.  Thank Him for what He’s doing that you can’t see.  Thank Him and praise Him for being the God of your turnaround.  He’s able!  He’s just watching us to see if we will give him the right responses.

“Whoever offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God,”   Psalm 50:23, AKJB.

Some versions say ‘offer thanksgiving’ and others say ‘offer praise’, but they are really interchangeable.  To thank God is to offer Him praise.

It can be so easy to resort to complaining when we are stressed, disappointed or frustrated, but we have to embrace the challenges.  It’s difficult, but as children of God it’s what we’re called to.  We really do have to make a choice what is most important.

If we choose anger, frustration, unbelief, double-mindedness, complaining or bitterness, we aren’t aligned with anything that God can put a blessing on.  WOW.  Stop and think about that for a moment, because that’s a big one.

What is really most important?  You can choose to keep a negative attitude, but doing so will cause you to forfeit the blessings of God.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.…”   1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV.

There is a time to go through the process that matures us, and those can be very trying times.  We have to go through the troubles and trials in order to produce a level of anointing.  We have to be stripped in order to be equipped.

Those times can be filled with disappointment, discouragement and confusion.  It can literally feel like the challenges come to wash away the very foundation of faith in your life, but those are the times when we are tested as to our responses.

Complaining and negative words usher in the forces of hell to produce bitterness, unbelief and rebellion towards God.  It strips us of anointing, power and blessing.  What’s more, it keeps people trapped in old cycles where they keep repeating the same sort of trials and they get stuck in the wilderness.

WHY?  Because they haven’t learned how to take authority over their emotions and responses.

Remember the Israelites?  An entire generation perished in the wilderness because of bitterness and complaining!  God can’t and won’t bless unbelief because it’s aligned with rebellion.

But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”   James 4:6, NIV,

God can’t bless pride or negativity, but He waits in order to be gracious to us.  What does He wait for? (Hint: Repentance).  A correct response of humility and faith!

“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him,”   Isaiah 30:18 ESV.

Whoever offers praise, glorifies God.

Whoever glorifies God aligns himself with faith, which then allows God an opportunity to release a blessing.

God has a process for producing an anointing in us.  It’s called pressing, squeezing, crushing – because that is what produces the anointing oil.  We have to go through things in order to produce the anointing.

But – when the process is complete and we are ready to enter a new season – that is the time when often the fire of refinement seems to get hotter.  God squeezes the oil out of you, and He will press and press until joy comes out of you IN SPITE OF THE TROUBLES.

God wants to give us a fresh anointing.  So many people have gone through difficulties and they’ve been carrying a spirit of heaviness.  Sometimes we can let that heaviness and discouragement or even feelings of being offended with God pull us away from fellowship or worship with others.

A person can’t grow if they’re not rooted in Christ.  Members of the body of Christ need one another.  Believe me, I know all the good excuses and defensive comebacks… there was a time when I didn’t want to be around others either.  But we can’t grow into maturity without others.

The word of God says, “iron sharpens iron,” in Proverbs 27:17.  One person sharpens another.  We learn from one another.  God puts His message into each vessel, and we each have a different part of revelation.  When we share the word of God and the revelation He reveals with one another, we grow.

Just like a plant cannot grow unless it is rooted in rich soil, and it cannot produce fruit if it is not rooted and stable, neither can a Christian grow, produce fruit and produce an anointing – unless we are rooted both in obedience and in the word of God.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me,”   John 15:4 NIV.

The Word of God says that it’s the anointing that breaks the yoke.  So how are you going to break the yoke of heaviness, or disappointment, or whatever you’ve been wearing – unless you’ve got the anointing?

Others have been carrying around a yokes of condemnation, worry, and all kinds of things that strip people of joy.  When we’re stripped of joy, we’re stripped of our strength.  When we’re stripped of joy and strength we’re stripped of anointing.

Do you have the oil flowing in your life?

When we’ve got joy, we’ve got anointing because they just go together.

God has been putting the same songs in my heart day and night for the last two weeks, and it’s all about being happy.  Joyful.  The word ‘happy’ is a literal translation for the word ‘blessed.’

I kept wondering why I couldn’t get the lyrics out of my head, until finally, I got it.  It’s all about the joy.

God wants to refill the wells that have run dry.  He wants to refill the wells of living water within us.  Say with me,

“SPRING UP, O WELL!”
“LIVING WATER,  BE FILLED IN JESUS’ NAME!”

Be grateful that your sins are forgiven!  Do you know how huge that is?

Past, present and future.  Your sins are forgiven in Christ.  That’s a reason to be happy!  God is working on the situations that concern you.  Whether you can see it or not, He never slumbers or sleeps.  He’s always watching out for us.

That’s a reason to rejoice!  Sometimes we can’t see what He’s doing until one day our testimony just shows up!  Believe it.  Trust Him.  The greatest evidence that we’re really trusting God, is to come to a place of total surrender.

Surrender is making a choice to end the power struggle and the battle within yourself.  When you choose to end the battle, your surrender produces peace, and joy always follows peace.

Look back and remember all the times He’s been good to you.  Rehearse the goodness of God, not the disappointments.  When we do, we build our faith and align ourselves for the blessing God wants to release.

Friend, some of you reading this need to just surrender.   Some of you need to get back in fellowship with other Christians.

Lay down the excuses and just take those steps of faith to get back in relationship with others again.  Trust God to help you overcome all your doubts, disappointments, and past negative experiences.  Healthy relationships are a blessing from God and they add such richness to your life.

They help you grow, and when you grow, you produce an anointing in your life that helps break the yoke of heaviness.  God wants us to overflow with joy.  Not the kind you have to manufacture in your own strength, but the kind that brings laughter in the face of whatever you’re going through.

God wants to release a fresh anointing in you that brings fresh strength.  It’s the glory that rests upon you, the glory and anointing that breaks the yoke.  Not only off your own neck but strong enough to break the yokes off of others too.

An increase in joy is an increase in strength to break through and a fresh anointing. when you choose joy, your spirit will agree and you really can enter into God’s peace and rest. try it and see.

Choose joy today!

 

 

~ Laura Gagnon


Laura GagnonLaura Gagnon is a woman who has been blessed with the gift of understanding God’s restorative work through her own personal experience.  Through her insights and revelation, God has led her to influence many individuals into a restored relationship with Jesus Christ.  She is a woman who stands on the promises of God, encouraging others in an elevated expectation of the miraculous and declares the gift of His life.  Laura is the author of Healing the Heart of a Woman and writes for her blog, Beyond the Barriers.

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