Jesus said He has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). As a believer, one of the things God has deposited into your born-again spirit so that you can live victoriously is JOY. Joy is such a beautiful thing because it’s a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who resides within you. Joy gives you strength for living. Joy can get you through the most difficult of situations. Joy can cause unbelievers to be drawn into the Kingdom. Joy can be experienced regardless of what is going on in your life. The question is how do you release the joy? How can you tap into the joy within?
I recently saw Pastor Bobby Schuller on the Hour of Power television broadcast, and he stated that “joy is not passive,” but requires action. As you well know, taking Spirit-led action is paramount in many aspects of the Christian walk. Faith is an action. Faith without corresponding action is dead. Love is an action, not a feeling. Forgiveness takes action. Jesus commands you to love, bless, pray for and do good to the person who hurt you in spite of your feelings. Likewise, joy is released by taking ACTION. In order for joy to manifest in your soul, you have to aggressively act in ways that will release it within. Passivity will keep the cap on the well of your joy. Unfortunately, if your joy wanes, then your spiritual strength is sure to follow (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it is very important that you be in control of your joy.
Normally, before God does something supernatural, He first requires action on our part. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told the people to roll away the stone (John 11:38). Elijah told Naaman to dip in the Jordan river seven times before the power was released to heal the army commander of leprosy (II Kings 5:10). Moses had to lift his staff before the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:16). Joy is no different. If you want the supernatural joy of the Lord to manifest, you must first DO something. Joy will not just fall on you. Releasing the joy requires a partnership between you and your God.
You see, many times when we are going through trials and tribulations, we forget to do the very things that will cause joy to manifest. The joy that Jesus died to give you will continue to lay dormant if you allow passivity to reign. Therefore, if you want to release the joy in your life in spite of your negative circumstances, here are seven Spirit-led actions you can take:
- Praise and Worship the Lord. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Therefore, worship ushers in the presence of the Lord, and as Psalm 16:11 relays, in His presence there is fullness of joy. Therefore, if you want joy, bask in His presence through praise and worship.
- Forgive those who have hurt you. In Acts 13:50-52, Paul and Barnabas experienced persecution but were still filled with joy. Why? “They shook the dust off their feet” and refused to allow offenses to remain in their hearts against people who treated them badly. If you want the joy within released, you must forgive those who have hurt you. Refuse to let offense shut off the well of joy that resides within you.
- Pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Thus, prayer is a powerful joy releaser for the following reasons: 1) prayer requires you to be aware of God’s presence; 2) prayer is fellowship with your best friend, and 3) having your prayers answered definitely brings joy. Therefore, prayer is an action that you can take that is pregnant with the potential to release joy.
- Obey God’s voice. Obedience is also a key to maintaining joy. In Acts 5:29, the apostles were given strict orders by the Jewish leaders not to teach in the name of Jesus. However, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man!” and they taught anyway. Later in verse 41, we read, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” They obeyed God and joy was released in them supernaturally in spite of the persecution. When you obey God and go through difficulty, trust God with the outcome and expect supernatural joy to be released.
- Believe the Word. Romans 13:15 relays that joy and peace are realized through believing. Therefore, if you are joyless, it could be because your faith has waned in some way. Is the enemy of your soul deceiving you regarding God’s Word? Believe, and supernatural joy and peace will be the result.
- Shift your perspective. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” In other words, if you want the joy to be released, you have to focus on the advantages that God will afford you through your difficulty. Additionally, shifting your focus to what is good in your life (instead of constantly dwelling on the negative) and being grateful for what you have will release your inner joy as well.
- Engage in enjoyable activities. This may sound simple, but you may be joyless because you have failed to do what you enjoy. When your feelings go south, don’t just sit in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Do something you enjoy. Do something fun. Get a manicure. Watch a funny movie. Connect with a friend through a phone call or fellowship. Buy yourself some flowers. Fight passivity with all that is within you, and take action!
Joy is a powerful inoculator against spiritual weakness (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it’s imperative that you stay joyful. You may not be happy all the time because happiness depends on happenings. However, God has made provision for you to be continuously joyful. In fact, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4)! If there was not a way to accomplish the feat of having continuous joy, that verse would never have been included in God’s Word. Therefore, as a believer, you must do your part and take action to make sure a constant flow of joy wells up in you regardless of the trials and tribulations that come your way. The question is: what are your willing to DO to release the joy within?
What action will you take today to release joy in your heart and soul that will strengthen you for the battle you face? Please leave a comment below.
I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great Relationships. Click here to find out ways you can help.
Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.
Find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012
Follow me on Twitter: @TraceyLMoore1
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net