“...The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
Ever feel like the person sitting next to you at church has been baptized in lemon juice and vinegar? Lol. Maybe they have a legitimate reason for being down... Or have you been around super serious Christians? You know, the kind that treat everything spiritual as an intense act of warfare and to crack a smile would be irreverent and inappropriate? It’s time we loosen up, stop trying so hard, and get a glimpse of our God who sits in heaven and laughs!
One time we went with a group of friends to see a Christian comedian. Right about when the show was opening, my friend, who is a seer, saw thousands of angels fill the auditorium. I was taken back because, in my mind, how spiritual could this be - we’re just going to a show to hear a guy make jokes and we’re going to laugh!
She said there was more angels there than what she saw at church!
I realized in that moment the power of joy and laughter. Heaven shows up where true joy is taking place!
Once again, God was transforming my view of how things work.
I thought I had to try really hard in prayer and be really serious in order to get God to show up and move.
And then He goes and shows up in more powerful way at a comedy show than at a church service!
Wherever you are at - joyful, grieving, grumpy or just way too serious, here’s at least 6 reasons why Christians need more rejoicing:
1. It takes the pressure off
I’m definitely not against passion, being serious, crying out to God, and the like.
I just notice in my life when I’m taking myself way too seriously.
I remember when I was young, my Dad notice I was in a funk after I got disciplined or didn’t get my way, and he would jokingly say, “Don’t laugh!” “Don’t smile!”
And, of course, I would crack a smile and start laughing. But what had to happen beforehand was I had to let go!
It’s time to let go of the pressure to perform for God!
Let go of the pressure to be perfect!
Laughing lifts the pressure right off!
2. It’s the antidote to depression
Isaiah prophesied that the Christ would come and bring an exchange:
Beauty for ashes
Oil of joy for mourning
Garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness
Joy and praise replace mourning and heaviness!
I remember listening to Derek Prince point out that heaviness is a spirit!
That means that it’s more than a physical issue, it’s a spiritual issue.
We need our spiritual weapon of praise and rejoicing to get rid of that spirit! In Jesus name!
How does this work?
You just get up, lift your voice and choose to rejoice!
Thank God for the oil of joy and the garment of praise!
It’s this kind of joy that gives you strength to walk through whatever you’re facing! (Neh. 8:10)
3. Joy has healing properties
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”
It’s like medicine!
I remember hearing a testimony from Kevin Dedmon that a lady got healed by him laying hands on her head and laughing! She started laughing too and got completely healed!
(check it out here https://www.bethel.com/testimonies/healed-laughing/)
There is healing in joy!
4. It demonstrates faith
Psalm 16:11 says that there is fullness of joy in God’s Presence.
Romans 14:17 says that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 says that joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
James 1:2-3 says to count it all joy when you’re in trials!
When you rejoice anyway, you’re demonstrating that you believe the Word of God.
You are putting your faith into action.
5. It’s an outlet for gratitude
My good friend Jerame Nelson says, “What you focus on you empower.”
I notice that when I start to give thanks my focus gets transferred over to what I do have instead of complaining over what I don’t have.
The enemy would love to steal your attention by having you focus on guilt, shame, fear, condemnation, what’s not going right, what’s stressful, etc.
I was challenged when I read this quote from Jack Taylor:
“Complaining is to the devil what praise is to God”
Lord have mercy!
It’s time to rejoice in the Lord!
Not because you feel like it, not because everything is going right - but because He is worth it and you need it!
To rejoice in the Lord is to give an outlet for the gratitude in your heart!
If we resist joy, we stop up an avenue for gratitude to flow!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
6. It attracts heaven
Heaven is a joyful place! God is a joyful God!
Just like my seer friend saw all those angels fill the auditorium at the comedy event, heaven is attracted to joy!
I can’t help but imagine the angels are attracted to a place that looks and sounds like heaven where the King sits on His throne and laughs.
So what are you waiting for?!
Let go of the grumpiness and let your gratitude flow!
Crank up the praise music, release the supernatural power of joy, and experience the freedom that the Holy Spirit brings!
Question: How has choosing joy affected your life?