In the world, you find depression, sorrow, despondency, sadness, discouragement, misery, and woe. However, none of those have any place in a child of God. In His presence there is not just joy, but abundant joy!
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 16:11 <KJV>
One might object by saying that Psalm 16 is not about Believers, but Jesus. Believers are made alive in Christ, and seated together in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Believers are blessed with all spiritual Blessings in Heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:1-10, 2:1-10) And if that were not enough to convince you, Jesus promises that everyone who loves him will keep his Word, resulting in the Father and the Son living in you! (John 14:23) There can be no question that as much as you desire, you are in God’s presence, where there is abundant joy.
Why Am I Always Depressed?
As I had to learn the hard way, your feelings are a choice. If allowed, the enemy will convince you that you are a failure. He will amplify the slightest offense and turn it into a mountain of an insult. Satan enjoys reminding you of mistakes, limitations, and dragging you through the mud of self-pity. He can only attack the outer man, magnifying problems and feeding you fear, doubt, and worry. The inner man, the real you which is your spirit, needs to resist him. You do this with the Word, knowing that the Greater One is in you. Cast away all thoughts and imaginations that are contrary to God’s Word. Let Love fill your spirit and remove ALL fear. Renew your mind with God’s Word, and give no place to the devil. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6, Ephesians 4:20-27, 6:10-18, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:6-9, 1 John 4:1-8, 4:14-21)
At Midnight, They Were Praying And Singing Hymns To God
In Acts 16, Paul cast a demon out of slave-girl who was mocking the ministry. Her masters, who had greatly benefited from her fortune telling, realized that she could no longer perform. They seized Paul and his companion Silas and brought them to the chief magistrates, accusing them of teaching a strange religion. Paul and Silas were beaten until their blacks were bloody, and then locked in the prison with their ankles in stocks. This certainly did not seem like an ideal time to be singing joyfully to the Lord, but that is exactly what Paul and Silas did. And they weren’t shy about it, since everyone in the prison heard their praise. Around midnight, there was an earthquake, and every door opened, and every prisoner was loosed from their chains. The Truth will absolutely make you free! (John 8:31-32, Acts 16:14-40)
“LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.
Psalm 107:13-16 <NLT>
If anyone had the right to complain, it was Paul and Silas. However, they knew their Heavenly Father. Chains and prison bars are nothing to the Creator of the universe. Besides, self-pity is a type of doubt. Instead of murmuring and complaining, they released their faith in joyful praise. There is not a prison built, or a chain forged, that could have kept them bound. And if that wasn’t a big enough breakthrough, their faithful praise got the jailer and his household saved in the process.
The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength
Nehemiah received permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. When the work was complete, Ezra and the Levites read and explained the Law to the people. Many began to mourn and weep, for they realized their failure. The leaders said, “Do not mourn or weep.” Then they said, “Do not grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord.” (Nehemiah 8:7-12)
The people had ignored God’s Word for too long. Now that they heard it, it was not a time of mourning. Faith comes from hearing God’s Word. The entrance of His Word gives light. Once you know what God said, the matter is settled. You will have joy knowing His Truth. Rejoicing in the Lord, even in tough times, will seem strange to the world, and will confuse the enemy, but it is the secret to empowering your faith. The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 119, Romans 10:17)
Along with Love and Peace, Joy is a fruit of the recreated spirit (heart). Joy originates in your heart (spirit) and manifests through your lips. As Jesus explains, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” How does it get there? By continually feeding on God’s Word, the incorruptible seed. Your spirit will produce Good Fruit when you are planting and nourishing Good Seed. (Matthew 12:33-37, Luke 6:45, Galatians 5:22-25)
How About A Musical Interlude?
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:11 <KJV>
Believing and acting on God’s Word brings joy. Does any earthly parent want their child unhappy? Your Heavenly Father is no different. He wants to shower you with His Blessing. As David writes, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6) God has a perfect plan for your life. He has everything prepared in advance, ready for you to trust Him. Before you even ask, He is ready with the answer. Your Heavenly Father is more eager for your success than even you are! You will never catch Him unprepared. (Psalm 21:1-7, 23:1-6, 34:1-19, Isaiah 65:24, Mark 11:22-24, John 15:7)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4 <KJV>
You can trust God’s Word. If it wasn’t good for you, Paul would not be telling you (twice) to rejoice in the Lord. You can enjoy victory in every area of your life. Wherever you find yourself today, start rejoicing in the Lord.
Do You Have The Joy Of The Lord?
Faith Building Exercise
Say these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.
I celebrate by feasting and sharing with those who have nothing. This is a wonderful day and I will not be sad, because the joy of the Lord is my strength!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause. Let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in my prosperity. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
For the despondent, every day brings trouble. I have a happy heart, and my life is a continual feast.
I ask in the name of Jesus and receive. I have abundant joy.
All praise to God, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because I am united with Christ.
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