Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Joy of the Lord

Scripture:  Nehemiah 8 v 10 - 12: "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.
11  So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12  And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them."

A long while ago an acquaintance phoned me long distance to complain about a letter that went astray and how she was going to start an investigation through the Post Office.  I replied, have joy with that!  I must have touched a nerve somewhere as she suddenly screamed, JOY! What kind of a stupid word is that?  

It struck me in that moment that this woman had not an ounce of joy in her life!  Since Jesus had become my Saviour I have known such joy.  Reading the Word filled me with joy just as it did to the Israelites in Nehemiah's day.  The Joy of the Lord is our strength.

Joy bubbles up from inside you and adds strength to faith and knowledge. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that defines the way you express yourself and manifest love and comfort.

The opposite of joy is bitterness, holding grudges, seeking vengeance, unable to forgive those who have wronged you.  If anything saps your strength it is bitterness that sours your life and affects those around you.  In Mark 11 v 25 - 26: "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

If someone approaches you for spiritual help listen carefully to their words to discern the real nature of their problem.  Very often you will discover bitterness and unforgiveness to be the trouble.  Before they can find the joy of the Lord they must conquer the grievances in their hearts and minds.

In Matthew 18 v 32 - 35: "Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

Jesus says if you have been delivered to the tormentors, i.e. demons that bring pain, sickness, fear, loss of income, loss of family, many sorrows and disappointments....... then check your heart to see if you are harbouring bitterness and hurt feelings and rejection.  Until you get that log out of your eye it will keep you blinded from truth and far from any kind of joy.

God responds to how we obey.  Read the Word and learn what He says on every thing that matters to you.  If He says its not acceptable then nothing this planet says different is going to change His mind.  Do not live in a delusion that God understands who you are.  He did not mess your life up, He wants to help you straighten it out.

God is using this time of pandemic lockdown to prepare us the greatest joy we will ever know, the Coming of Jesus back to Earth.  He has sent us to our rooms, locked us down, cancelled most distractions to give us space to make serious changes to our lifestyle.

He loves us and responds when we love Him, and love Jesus.  He pours His love upon us in so many ways that it has to overflow on to those around us.  If we are not living in this supernatural love, peace and joy, then we have been lied to and cheated out of our inheritance.  Go back to the drawing board of your life and rip up the delusions and get serious with our Father.

Time is running out.  Life is never going to be the same.  Needy people are in serious state of hunger and basic necessities.  Millions who had an income have lost their incomes as businesses have permanently closed.  High fashion, flashy cars, exotic holidays and bling may all have lost their glitter in post-pandemic Earth.  

Have you ever watched Survivor?  Many will be in a permanent state of trying to survive.  We will all be called upon to help, give, feed, clothe, educate the most vulnerable.  If we can do this in the joy of the Lord, many will be won for His Kingdom, and out of this crushing blow, we will be stronger and more prepared next time.

It's like when the great Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami struck south east Asia out of the blue.  We never know what next is planned or where it will land.  We are in the end times heralding the return of Jesus.  Not even He knows the day nor hour of it so no one can even prophesy it.  But He told us what to look out for to get ready.

Israel will be a nation again.  Tick 70 years ago.  False doctrines, false prophets causing apostasy in the church.  Tick.  Weather out of control.  Tick.  Plagues. Tick. Famine. Tick. Heart failure. Tick. Rise of Antichrist activity. Tick.  The gospel will be shared all over the world. Tick.  All the boxes are now ticked.  Suddenly most Arab nations are warming up to Israel.  That 7 year treaty between them all must be getting closer and that's the starter pistol for the last 7 years.

I truly hope that each one of us takes note of what we need to do to prepare for whatever part of the last seven years we will be on Earth.  I personally believe that we will be here for the first half of tribulation.  I believe that's when the world revival will take place and what a thrilling time that will be, no matter what drama the world is in.  This first half is called the Beginning of Sorrows.  Then we go up in the Rapture.

Second half is called The Wrath of the Lamb.  The Antichrist will have rebuilt the Temple and moved into the Holy of Holies declaring himself God.  The eyes of Israel will be opened and they will flee to Jordan.  The wrath of Jesus is not for His Body, the Church, nor His Bride, Israel, but for those who have rejected Him and followed Satan.

We will be rejoicing at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb waiting for Him, the Bridegroom, to bring His Bride, His Wife, to join us.  Oh the joy!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, our cups run over with love and joy in anticipation of this great day.  We want to be there and experience all that we could only glimpse before.  May there be many more than we can imagine coming into Your Kingdom during the great revival.  In Jesus' name. Amen.