We all know that the enemy comes to steal rob and destroy (John 10:10) but I believe one of the things he wants most is our Joy. You see, if he steals our Joy, we are ineffective in attracting the lost to the Kingdom.
We had a guest speaker today at our church, Haazem, a Muslim who came to know Jesus in a very interesting way. His parents, along with 13 siblings, traveled back to Israel to move a way from the Christian culture they were exposed to in NY where they lived. But God had another plan. A Christian family rented an apartment from them. They just so happened to be missionaries. While Haazem was on a quest to become a better Muslim, he became inquisitive. He wondered why all of his friends and family never seemed happy or joyful, but his Christians neighbors were always joyful and loving toward him. As The Lord would have it, Haazem, through a series of events, put his trust in Jesus. But unlike most of us here in America, it came with a huge price. He had his “Garden of Gethsemane” moment. His family has disowned him and he is literally in danger. But it hasn’t stopped him from appearing on TV and traveling to share the good news. And he does so with the most amazing passion.
So I believe we need to have “Joyful Faith”, that flows out of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an overcoming faith; a faith that triumphs. A Faith that overcomes the world and a mindset that is anti-God. It overcomes the Lust of the flesh (passions), lust of he the eyes (possessions), and the Pride of Life (positions/power). It is an enduring faith. (Hebrew 12:2). Endurance is the power to keep going year after year in the path of obedience with joy and passion. It is the power to wait on God for an answer. That in itself is a disciplined act. It is difficult to move forward when you are despairing.
It is a rejoicing Faith. (Acts 5:41). We serve, give and worship with joy.
–It is a mature faith. You know God is who He says He is……no re-thinking!
–You know God will do what He promises……..not double minded.
–You trust God even when you do not understand him. (Psalm 145:13)
–You fight the good fight of faith. (1Tim 6:12)
–Neh 8:10. the Joy of The Lord is our Strength. Nehemiah had joyful faith.
–He faced criticism, threats, and false accusations from without.
–He faced strife, discord, and betrayal from within. He faced financial hardships
–He faced a challenging building program.
–But he overcame, endured and rejoiced.
How about you? Do you have Joyful Faith? I hope so. Anyone can be happy when things are going well. But it is when we have struggles that the world is watching if we are different. And by being joyful amidst the storms, we can effectively share the love of Christ in the most meaningful way. So let’s do this family. There are eternities that depend on it!
Love and blessings!