“It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons.” ~ William Gurnall
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Daniel was writing about the end-times and that the saints would become worn out. There is no way around it; Daniel was talking about us – you and me. Notice the anti-christ would change the times of the sacred feasts and holy days. He has already accomplished this part of this and so few realize it. Few believers know what the Feasts of the LORD are or that they are still a part of our acceptable worship of the Almighty. Instead, we have replaced them with holidays that originated in Babylon – the spiritual seat of power for the anti-christ system. Whether you are ready to hear this or not, it is time to grow up spiritually and fully embrace only what is in the Word of God – all the way from Genesis through to Revelation. God never changed His Sabbath day or His appointed feasts; we did. Although I could go into a great deal more detail regarding this, I will save that for another day.
There is another aspect of this I want to get into now. Twice in the past week, I have had dear and precious saints tell me they were tired of the constant struggle against evil and they were not sure they had the faith to continue. This was in response to a brother of ours who we thought had already beaten cancer, who was diagnosed with a recurrence of this wicked malady. He told me he just was not sure he could stand and pray through as he had in the past. He wasn’t sure he had the faith to persevere! Another lady told me she was just plain tired and had lost her enthusiasm for ministry as she saw the same problems in the same people and there never seemed to be an end to it.
It is very easy to get discouraged when we are under a constant barrage with no let up or end in sight. In situations like this, we need to focus on restoring the Joy of the Lord into our hearts, souls and spirits.
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 your strength.
If the joy of the Lord is our strength, and it really is – then it would certainly behoove us to find out how to bring joy to the Lord!
Why is joy so important? Because the joy of the Lord is your strength! Joy produces strength, and strength is needed to fight. We are called to fight the good fight of faith. I sense in my spirit that many people in the body of Christ are tired of fighting the good fight of faith. And, I feel they are struggling to fight because they are weary and have lost their joy.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Perhaps you are tired of fighting for your marriage. You are fed up with your husband or wife. You think that he or she doesn’t love you anymore, so why continue to fight for their love. You are ready to throw in the towel and stop trying.
Or, maybe you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. You have been sick for so long that you don’t remember what it’s like to be healthy and feel good anymore. At one time, you battled the sickness, but the sickness now seems to have the upper hand and be winning. So you think, “What’s the use, I might as well accept this sickness and learn to live with it. I’m never going to get well.”
Or, possibly you once waged war against your financial debts. But things haven’t changed much, and you’re beginning to get discouraged. You think that you are never going to get out from under all your bills and begin to wonder why bother?
You might be having trouble with your children. You wonder if they are ever going to straighten up and act right. You are exhausted from their rebellion. “Is God ever going to change them?” you wonder.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
How often are we to rejoice? You know the answer, Always! We are to rejoice always, because “joy” is the easiest fruit to lose. You can’t live off of the joy you had yesterday. Joy can only give you strength when you possess it. If you had joy last week, that joy will not give you enough strength for the struggles of today. Joy can only give us strength for this day, if we have it today. This is why we must always rejoice.
You might be saying, I don’t feel like rejoicing. But God did not say, rejoice only if you feel like it. No! He said, rejoice always. Obviously, God knows that we don’t feel like always rejoicing. Yet, we need to always rejoice because if we do not then we will lose the strength to fight.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Pure joy is not happiness. Happiness comes from the root word happen. Happiness therefore, is based on what is happening. If something good is happening, then we are happy. However, God says that pure joy occurs even in the midst of trials; even when the car breaks down, or when the kids get sick, or when the boss cuts back our hours, or when our spouse is in a terrible mood, etc. Why count it pure joy whenever we face trials? Because joy gives us strength to fight our trials, and if we fight these trials, we can overcome! James continues,
James 1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
You see, James had in mind victory over trials, not acceptance of his trials. So by rejoicing, we can actually overcome our trials.
I love these next few verses from Habakkuk:
Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls:
It sure sounds like this person has some big problems. Notice however that he is not going to surrender to his problems. He is going to do something about his problems. Look at what he says next:
Habakkuk 3:18-19 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
You see, Habakkuk had no intention of staying defeated. He may have looked defeated, but he is not going to stay defeated. The difference between the person who is soundly defeated and the person who is victorious is all in their attitude.
An attitude of gratitude will put us over in life. This is the kind of attitude this prophet Habakkuk had. Even though nothing good was happening in his life – no fruit, no crops, no sheep, no cattle – yet he rejoiced. In our modern world, Habakkuk might have said it like this:
“Though there is no food in the refrigerator, and there is no money in the account, though the sickness gets worse, and the pain persists, though my children are on drugs, and my spouse does not appreciate me, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Regardless of the circumstances we face, we can rejoice! Let’s look at another verse of scripture:
Isaiah 12:2-3 Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Did you know that there are wells (plural) of salvation? When we got saved, we inherited many wells and each well contains a unique blessing. One well has a sign over it that reads: Healing. Another well says: Prosperity. Still another well says: Sound Mind. As you look around at all the wells, you notice another one with a sign that says: Family Restoration. The more we look at the wells we inherited, the more our heart rejoices.
Notice that scripture says that with joy we will draw from the wells of salvation. We need muscles, strength to draw water from wells. Without strength we cannot draw from the wells. This is why Isaiah says, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” It takes joy to draw from the wells of healing, prosperity, soundness of mind and family restoration. Without joy, we cannot draw water from these wonderful wells. It is joy that keeps us strong and enables us to draw from the wells of salvation.
We may face sickness or disease, yet God has provided the well of healing, but only through joy can you draw from this well. So rejoice despite the illness.
We may experience poverty, but through joy we can draw from the well named prosperity. We may be tormented with fear, worry and depression, however we can draw the water called sound mind through joy! Therefore, do not get down or discouraged!
The devil may be able to attack us but he has no power to steal our joy. Joy is a spiritual force inside our human spirit. Satan can touch our body, our finances and our family as the book of Job teaches, but he can’t touch our spirit. Our spirit is off limits to him and since he can’t touch our spirit, he cannot rob us of our joy.
Again, satan cannot steal our joy since it is spiritual. If we lost our joy it is because we gave it away or stop nurturing it. However, if we want to keep our joy and continue to feed it, satan will grow weary and move on to other, easier prey.