1 John 5:4 - “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
We are into Week 3 of The Fast. Our final week. We believe that God is going to do some unique things amongst us this week. Keep leaning in.
Today we are praying together for joy and victory.
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of your life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.
What the enemy is after through discouragement and lingering depressive feelings is your strength - the strength that is found in the joy of the Lord.
The enemy knows he must steal your joy to defeat you.
He does not want to confront you and find you with strength; he seeks to exploit weakness. Because he knows the joy of the Lord is your strength as a believer, he seeks to steal your joy.
So choosing joy isn’t a “nice to have” if you can. It is a powerful principle. If the enemy cannot steal your joy, he cannot ultimately defeat you. You will have the victory! The moment David began to encourage himself in the Lord and recover his joy, he placed himself on a trajectory to turn his whole situation around.
Joy is not just a preferred emotional state; it is a necessary element in attaining full recovery and victory. And it is not something that we fake. It is a joy that is anchored in Christ and all we have in Him. The circumstances may be unsettling, but Christ and all He offers is still the same.
James 1:2-4 - "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."
Count it all joy.
The word translated "count" is hegeomai. It is an accounting term that means we are to place trials in the joy column of our emotional ledger.
Hegeomai also means "to rule or exercise authority”.
So when you are thrust into a trial or discouragement, you can bring it all before God and be emotionally honest before Him – then you can take authority and choose joy as your dominant emotion.
Celebration in the midst of destruction and despair isn’t escapism; it’s us all-out declaring that our strength is found in God, not our circumstances.
On the night before he died, Jesus shared a final meal and conversation with his disciples. They didn’t understand that Jesus was about to die, but Jesus knew his time was short. He was on his way to the cross.
Jesus comforted his disciples and encouraged them to not be troubled. He assured them that although he was going away, he would come back for them.
At this moment, while He was preparing to endure unimaginable pain, the craziest thing was on his mind. These were his last words to those he loved:
John 15:11 - “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Jesus was concerned about our joy. He wanted His joy to be in you. And your joy to be full.
Let that truth sink in. At the height of his own agony, His love desired your joy.
Your joy matters to Him. Your joy was on His mind. And He is still concerned about your joy.
We are believing you are going to find some deep joy in His presence this week.
Acts 2:28 - “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”