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HOW TO GET YOUR JOY BACK

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

II Corinthians 4:18 – While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

One of my favorite songs is “Trusting God” by Deitrick Haddon on his album “Crossroads.” Some of the lyrics are to the effect of: “What do you do when all your dreams are drifting away? What do you do when all your hopes fade? When all your friends have turned away? When it takes all you can to make it through the day? When there are no answers and no place you can run away”? His answer to each of the disastrous scenarios raised in the song? Keep on trusting God! Quoting Job 13:15, the chorus is “Yet will I trust him!” Now, the full quote from Job is “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Wow! That is truly one of the most radical quotes in the Bible. So radical that virtually no one speaks of it. So radical that many have tried to soften or alter its meaning. Why not? Because we do not have Job’s unconditional faith and love in God; the sort of faith and acceptance that was required to be justified under the law, especially for a man like Job who managed perfect actions while lacking a perfect heart. But that is the type of faith that we need to overcome when our joy is tested no matter the situation lest we enter into temptation! We need the faith to accept whatever God gives us out of a love for God and not just the belief but the KNOWLEDGE, the CONVICTION that God is still being good, just, honest, and fair. We need to take whatever God gives us and use it to press towards the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus!

What we need to do is given both in II Corinthians 4:18 above and in Hebrews 11:1, which is to have real faith. A lot of people truly do not operate in faith with God. Instead, they operate in the same quid pro quo relationship with God that they do with man. When we deal with man, we need contracts. Why? Because man can be fallible and dishonest; indeed is fallible and dishonest by nature. So, we need to protect ourselves in case man lies or fails to deliver. Such is the only sensible way to deal in human terms unless that person is a close family member, and sometimes even then! With man, trust has to be earned over a long period of time. With man, trust is based on the current condition of the relationship. But it does not work that way with God. Why? Because God cannot fail. He cannot lie. Further, God is above everyone, and is judged by and answer to no one. We just have to accept whatever God gives us and be happy. Very fortunately for us, God is always righteous and good, and he always gives us more than what we need!

But people fall short. They always want to say “Well God, I will trust you when you give me what I want.” That is not faith! Faith is trusting God BEFORE you get what you want. It is trusting God WHILE your bank account is empty. It is trusting God WHILE your marriage is falling apart. It is trusting God WHILE your child is sick. It is trusting God WHILE you have no job and your creditors are harassing you. It is trusting God WHILE all these bad things are happening to you even after things have happened in the past. It is the ability to trust God when there is a lump in your breast AFTER your mother and sister have died of breast cancer, when your middle child is acting up when your oldest son is already in jail. Having faith when things are going good is not faith. Having faith when you can see the way is not faith. Trust comes into play when there is no way out. And submission comes when you are able to say “God is good” no matter what happens.

Now, I am not here to promise you a rose garden. Why not? I explained that to you in the last devotional. Because of Adam’s fall, your life is going to be a fight every single day. So what are you going to do? Change your attitude. Become a warrior for God like David’s captain Uriah the Hittite, who was so devoted to fighting God’s battle that he refused to even enjoy his wife’s embrace while the war was going on. You have to fall in love with the fight, and desire to win battles for your Lord until the second God comes for your soul! You have to realize that you are not only still standing despite Satan’s best efforts to knock you down, but you are winning! Not only that, you have already won!

You have to transcend the temporal things of this soon – to – be gone world, and elevate yourself into the eternal! You have to realize that you were not put on this earth to do or experience your pleasure. YOUR PLEASURE IS GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN, AND EVERYTHING YOU DO ON EARTH SHOULD BE A PURSUIT OF GETTING THERE! No, you were put on earth for GOD’S PLEASURE to do GOD’S WILL, to fight his battles! So, you must reach the point where your own thoughts, notions, wants, and dreams DIE. You have to completely give yourself over, sell out, to your God! You have to get to the point where doing what God wants you to do is the only thing that gives you joy! Where serving the Lord is the only thing that makes you happy! If you are not doing God’s will, you aren’t happy. If people around you aren’t doing God’s will, you will either want to intervene and stop them, or get out of there! When God’s happy, you’re happy, and when God’s displeased, you’re displeased! When you get to that point, what do you do? Obey God! Do God’s will all the time! And when that happens, you will have joy all the time! You will have joy because God’s joy will be your joy! The joy of the Lord will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10, and also another good Deitrick Haddon song, this one on his Lost and Found album)!

One of the better ways to accomplish this is to just keep busy doing things for God. If you sit around doing nothing, you will inevitably enter into temptation. You will sit around thinking about how rotten everything is, how life is supposedly unfair (and it isn’t, that is a lie, because God is never unfair), how everyone has done you wrong (another lie, because God hasn’t), how there is no hope (again another lie, for you have hope in God through Christ Jesus), no future (ditto), and what you really need to start doing is paying everyone back for everything that they did to you and going out to get yours any which way you can! And of course, demons will be more than happy to join the negative chorus of defeat. The phrase “an idle man is the devil’s workshop?” It isn’t literally in the Bible, but it is still true! So get off your doldrums and get to doing something for God!
Now note that I did not say “Do something for yourself.” The phrase “God helps those who helps themselves” is not only not in the Bible (literally or otherwise), but it is untrue, anti – Christian! Those words were uttered by the humanist Benjamin Franklin! (No wonder he is so loved by the secularites!) Besides, you cannot provide for yourself even if you try. Only God can meet your true needs. You have to have faith in God that he alone will meet your every need, and do so better than anyone or anything else in, above, or below the earth can! That is what God wants you to. He doesn’t want you taking care of yourself, running your own life. He wants you to sit back and let him drive.

So who do you do something for? Others! You MINISTER. A lot of people believe that being called to minister by God is a position of authority over others. No, it is a position of SERVICE to OTHERS. You doubt? If so, it is largely because of your experiences with established religious practices that have nothing to do with the will of or a personal relationship with God, but actually runs counter to them. But look at the dictionary definition of minister as a VERB: “To attend to the wants and needs of others.” The definition of minister as a NOUN: “One who is authorized to perform religious functions in a Christian church, the superior in certain orders.” When the writers of the New Testament used that word, it was intended in its original meaning of the verb form, not the noun form that religion has attached to it. The best example was when Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples. The Son of God, God Himself, performed an act of submissive menial service to members of mankind of lower rank than Himself! We are to do the same!

Another example? Minister Paula White recounted an inspiring story of how during one Thanksgiving as a teenager living in her trailer park during her impoverished youth, a local charity donated a free turkey. Instead of being thankful for the turkey, she felt even worse: that things had gotten so bad that the locals regarded her so poor as to include her in holiday meals for the indigent. But instead of allowing herself to be overcome by resentment, embarrassment, pride, and hopelessness, she got up, carved up the turkey, made sandwiches, and gave them to the homeless and people even poorer than she! By doing this, she actually multiplied a blessing. She turned what was meant to be a charitable gift for one family who had a little something into many gifts for many people who had nothing! God was certainly pleased with her act of selflessness, and she was able to receive that joy because God joyed in her!

That is how it works. As Christians, we are to be the arms of God. God wishes to use us not to help ourselves, but to help others. If you allow God to use you to help others, then God will use others to help you! God will use others to meet your true needs! Once your true needs are met by others, if you submit to God he will take away the fake needs that you have created for yourself, or that demons planted into your mind! And that is a way of spiritual warfare. Satan’s kingdom is all about selfishness, vanity, looking out for number one, me me me! As long as you play Satan’s game by Satan’s rules, Satan will always win, because he is the master of selfishness. And just as Satan will never get what he wants or be happy, Satan will never allow you to get what you want – or think you want – or be happy! (When was the last time you saw a happy witch, occultist, or devil worshipper? They don’t exist! All they do is spend a lifetime destroying themselves and others pursuing grudges and seeking things that they will never get or will never make them happy if they do!)

But get yourself out of the selfish mindset, dedicate yourself to helping others, and that drives Satan away! He won’t know what to do with you, because he will not be able to understand what you are doing! He will not be able to conceive or comprehend your mindset, because you will have allowed God to elevate it to a plane where he, his demons, and his human agents can never understand or operate! You will have ceased to deal with the earthly and temporal, and you will have joined God in the spiritual, heavenly, eternal things! Do that, and Satan will not be able to touch you or anything that you do for others. Why? Because the things that you do for others will actually be done for God! And what belongs to God stays with God! Satan cannot take or corrupt what belongs to God because God is stronger than Satan! Satan can only take or corrupt earthly things, which are the things that you lust for and acquire for yourself. Remember when Jesus said “Lay not up your treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves steal, but instead lay them up in Heaven” in Matthew 6:19-20? That is another way of saying “You can’t take it with you!” Not only will “going after what is yours” not do you a bit of good in the next life, but it will not even make you happy in this one!

What did Jesus Christ tell Simon Peter when He asked Peter “Do you love me” and Peter said “Yes”? “Feed my lambs!” “Feed my sheep!” Now Peter was going through a lot at that time, having denied the Christ and all. But Christ did not tell Peter to go out, buy himself a new suit, and have a good time to feel better! (You do realize that such is what secular “experts” like counselors and psychiatrists will recommend … for you to listen to and feed your “inner child”!) No, in order for Peter to get his faith and joy back, Christ told Peter to go serve others! Preach the Gospel! Build the church! Preach the Word so that the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts and they will be saved! And Peter did just that, and afterwards nothing could take his joy away. Not prison, not beatings, not even death! Peter was crucified upside down. It took him TWO DAYS to die! And yet while he was dying an agonizing humiliating death on the cross, he preached the Gospel to everyone who passed by; implored them to accept Christ, to receive the same joy that he had even in an agonizing death! And yes, many who saw him did convert!

Peter served others right until the very end, and hence he kept his joy until the end. In the name of Jesus Christ, you go do the same! How will you serve others? Do not sell yourself short. God has given you a gift, a talent, a role. Whether it is preparing meals for the homeless, driving the elderly around, preaching the gospel, playing music, performing janitorial services for the church, providing childcare services for single parent and two parent households, mentoring at – risk kids, visiting the sick, elderly, and prison inmates, you can do it! Pray and ask God for guidance, and he will be glad to give you something to do. Another thing: do not fall into the religion trap that tells you that you have to do something that you do not like for God to smile upon it! If you do that, then you will likely have a bad attitude while performing the service, causing God to deem it an unacceptable sacrifice as mentioned in the previous devotional! Chances are, the CHRISTIAN UNSINFUL things that you already like to do or aspire to do are not only things that will please God, but what God created you and put you on this earth to do anyway!

And the simplest, most effective way to serve others? Pray for them! Sure, pray for yourself, but have faith that occasional praying for your own needs is sufficient. You are saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ. Your eternal fate, Heaven, is set and assured, and God will take care of your earthly needs so long as you serve and obey Him. So what are you worried about? Say your prayer for yourself and your affairs and move on. Pray for others! Become heavily involved in both intercessory prayer and intercessory spiritual warfare! Do it for your family members. Do it for your church. Do it for the Body of Christ. Do it for your neighbors. Do it for your friends. Do it for the church, government, academic, and business leaders. Do it for strangers. Do it for your enemies! Now prayer and spiritual warfare for others is heavy – duty stuff. Satan hates it! So after you do it, you are going to feel like you have just finished a 15 round prizefight. But once you see the effects of your intercession, once you see God’s hand starts to move for whom you pray for, when the sick gets healed, when their kids get out of prison, when they get saved and delivered from demon spirits through Christ Jesus, when people’s churches and ministries and businesses grow, there are few things that can compare to that type of joy! All you have to do is not let envy creep in when others seem to get what they want while you are still struggling. Of course, Satan will put those thoughts in your mind! But your mind is yours – and God’s! Satan can’t take your joy unless you let him! So when those thoughts come into your mind, you say “Devil, I command you in the Name of Christ Jesus to go this instant, and I bind you from returning! In the Name of Christ Jesus, I will NOT be selfish! In the Name of Christ Jesus, I will NOT be resentful! In the Name of Christ Jesus, I do and will have joy in others blessings, the joy that God has in what He has used me to do, and the joy that God has given me for allowing Him to use me! By the Blood of Christ Jesus, I have the joy, I have the victory, and you devil are defeated, and you are already gone!”

No matter what you are going through, no matter what your circumstances, know that God will always carry you through. Know that God has already given you the victory. You just need to fight the battle by doing his will. Cast off this religion nonsense that teaches you that you have to be perfect; that if you are not happy all the time, then you are ungrateful, it is because you have sinned, or you are not really saved, or you have not learned to be content. Follow Christ. Do as Christ did and how he commanded his disciples. When your joy is being attacked and is waning, praise God. Glorify him. Put all your faith and trust in Him. Know that no matter what you have done or what you have gone through, so long as you have said the Salvation Prayer that your soul is fine; you are going to Heaven and under God’s grace dwelling in the shadow of the Most High on Earth. So forget those religious folk and their lies. They are modern day Pharisees and Sadducees with eyes that can’t see, ears that can’t see, mouths that cannot speak the truth, minds that cannot conceive the truth, and hearts that cannot feel or love. You can get your joy back if you are willing to fight for it, and the way to fight is to do the will of your God by putting others first. And once you get your joy back, praise!

Prayer:Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, show me how to obey you and find my joy by serving others. Please provide guidance to me when, where, who, and in what manner should I serve, and please give me the faith, courage, and perseverance to carry out your will. Please Lord, ready me for the task at hand, and when I am ready please send me out to do it. I am tired of seeking happiness through the flesh, and I am ready to submit to you and seek happiness through Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Ghost! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are impatience, fear, doubt, selfishness, pride, self – will, selfishness, rejection, bitterness, worldliness, fantasy, and coveting. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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