Sunday, August 25, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 8) - BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING (II)


Beware Of Anxiety. Next To Sin,
There Is Nothing That So Troubles
Our Mind, Strains The Heart,
Distresses The Soul,
And Confuse The Judgement
- William Ullathorne

As worshipers, what will cripple us from doing God’s will and enjoying His presence? What will rob us of the joy of the LordANXIETY! ANXIETY! ANXIETY!
Why is Paul so concerned with our level of anxiety? Because :
1) Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”
2) Isaiah 61:3 equate this as "the spirit of heaviness"
3) Psalm 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughtsSee if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." It's a little disturbing to us that king David equates anxious thoughts with an "offensive way" (verse 24) in this Psalm.



In what way can our anxiety be awfully offensive?
- When we harbour anxious thoughts, we are saying that the One who has promised to take care of our future (Jeremiah 29:11) might not do a good job of it.
- It says that the One who has promised to walk us through the waters and not allow the fire to burn us (Isaiah 43:2) might abandon us to the waters and the fire.
- And it says that His presence in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) might not be enough to calm us
(an extract from Worship The King & Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)

What is the solution to our anxiety? We learned from last week's post that the answers are found in Philippians 4:6-7. That we “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” When our prayers and petitions are mingled with THANKSGIVING, we are opening our hearts (guarding your hearts - Proverbs 4:23) to His presence. Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates (opening your heart) with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE; give THANKS to Him and PRAISE His name.” Instead of occupying our thoughts with the spirit of anxiety, we “PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness (heavy, burdened, failing spirit)” - Isaiah 61:3

Jesus taught us, " ... do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." - verse 34 (Matthew 6: 25-34 in context)
Imagine a son lying awake at night wondering if his parents are going to feed him tomorrow. Or a daughter wondering if she will have something to clothe herself in. That might happen in some homes, but what does it say of the parents? Nothing complimentary.

As worshipers of God we cannot praise Him with such insecurities. Our anxieties are forms ofanti-worship - a clear declaration that our God might not have promised us enough or might not be able to follow through on what He has promised. Yes, He may let us go through hard things, but never ourside of His timing or beyond His protection. So worship Him. And don't worry about tomorrow!
Mega-Blessings \0/\0/\0/ 
TPWC

Friday, July 19, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 7) - BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING (I)


PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
Pray, Give Thanks And Let God Worry - Martin Luther
Philippians 4:6 is one of the most straightforward commands in Scripture, but one of the hardest to fulfill. Yet if we believe in the inspiration of Scripture, the originator of this verse is none other than the Holy Spirit.
How can God expect us to be anxiety free? He must have a reason. He wouldn’t tell us to do something that’s impossible to do. No, the rationale for this imperative comes in the words that follow. The reason we can be anxious for nothing is that our prayers, petitions, and requests can be given over to God in the spirit of GRATITUDE. Prayer with thanksgiving gives us rock-solid assurance that our anxieties are unfounded.


It is possible for a worshiper who is practicing the presence of God daily to be able to manage all his fears, anxieties and stresses. How is this possible? The answer is found in the presence of God. When you are in the presence of God, there is JOY and “The Joy of the Lord is your strength”! That is why Paul is able to give us a command in Philippians 4:4 to “REJOICE in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!” In fact a worshiper who is practicing the presence of God will be able to stay calmed in any situations because “the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). And the result is having "the peace of God" (Philippians 4:7) in midst of all circumstances.


Can I challenge you further on the spirit of thankfulness, gratitude and rejoicing?


1) Colossians 3:15-17"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."Be thankful - that is not a suggestion; it is a command. In all that we do we need to be guided by two principles: doing it "in the name of the Lord Jesus" and "giving thanks to God through Him"


2) Ephesians 5:19
"... speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."When you are full of the Holy Spirit you will continually give God thanks. In fact, you can measure the fullness of the Spirit within you partly by the spirit of a thankful heart. When you cease to do so, it is one sure indication you are beginning to leak out


3) 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"... in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."What is the will of God in Christ Jesus? To give thanks in everything. So if you are not giving thanks, as we have already seen, you are actually out of the will of God.


GRATITUDE is an attitude that if it isn't flowing naturally now, should be cultivated zealously. Practice it often, and it will soon become as natural as breathing.

Have a joyous and victorious week!
TPWC

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 6) - PURE JOY

Consider It Pure Joy, My Brother,
Whenever You Face Trials Of Many Kinds
James 1:2
We have been talking about being "Anxious For Nothing" in our last three posts. We also challenged you that we can indeed overcome the spirit of anxieties, worries and stresses by choosing to release the spirit of joy, rejoicing and thanksgiving. But what if we are in the midst of trials and testings? For most of us to consider these situations a matter of joy is another issue altogether.

As worshipers, how can we consider the trials of life pure joy? Only those who see the surprising benefit in them. Through the lens of Scripture, we can see that benefit. We are told that our trials develop our character in ways that would produce eternal profit for us; and we are told that the God who allows them always has our welfare in mind. These are things that unbelieving world cannot see, but they have been revealed to those who will believe.

There many examples in the Bible of believers practicing this "irrational act of joy" in the midst of trials:

1) Acts 5:41 - the apostles who were arrested for preaching Jesus left the court of the Sanhedrin "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name".

2) Acts 16:25 - Paul and Silas sang praises to God from the depths of a filthy Philippian prison

3) 2 Corinthians 8:2 - Paul praised the Macedonian churches for their generosity in giving while in the midst of "severe trials, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty ..."

4) 2 Corinthians 12:10 - Paul delights in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

5) James 1:2 - James points to the benefit our trials have for our own character.

6) Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:11 that we are blessed "when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me". In fact Jesus also tells us to "rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven ..." (Matthew 5:12)

Are you going through difficult times? Don't despair. Discouragement and depression are not the Biblical responses, only the natural ones. But we live above the natural. We know the end result of our pain. Perseverence results in maturity, and problems give Jesus a stage to show His resurrection power (Philippians 3:10). There is no greater blessing than that. 
Make a choice: Consider It Pure Joy!
#Pure Joy #Count It All Joy #The Joy of the Lord #Rejoice In The Lord
(an extract from: Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 5) - THANKSGIVING LAYS THE FOUNDATION FOR PRAISE & WORSHIP





Thanksgiving 

Lays the Foundation for Praise and Worship. 

1) The Source Of Thanksgiving Is Grace
Thanks is our reaction when we realize that all we have, receive, and are is a gift of God's grace. Thanksgiving is rejoicing at what God gave when we were undeserving. True gratitude registers surprise that God could be so good to us when we deserve nothing. (See Acts 27:35; 28:15; Romans 6:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Colossians 1:12 & Revelation 11:17)

Everyday give thanks for your 
SALVATION 
It is an 
INDISCRIBABLE GIFT! 
(2 Corinthians 9:15)

2) The Condition Of Thanksgiving Is Agreement
Thanksgiving means that you agree with God. Thus, the Bible encourages you to give thanks in all circumstances (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to pray about things that concern you most by making your petitions with thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:6)

O Give Thanks to the LORD, for He is GOOD: for His MERCY endures FOR EVER! (Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 136:1) Be in agreement that whatever may be our situation, God is still GOOD and MERCIFUL!

3) The Response Of Thanksgiving Is Praise And Worship
Thanksgiving responds to God's specific acts. Praise and thanks are thus natural partners in worship (see Psalms 100:4; Hebrews 13:15). Your prayers and your actions worship your Creator. When you thank God, you enter His presence, worship Him, and present an offering to Him.


4) The Occasion For Thanksgiving is Everything
Nothing should escape your thanksgiving. God is active in every area of your life and can show you His direction even in the darkest hour. Thanking God frees Him to work in your life through those circumstances.





5) The Reward Of Thanksgiving 
Is God's blessings, peace, joy, growth, worship, and life in Christ. If you have trouble giving thanks under any circumstances, ask the Spirit to fill you (see Ephesians 5:18-20)



An extract from MasterLife - The Disciple's Victory by Avery T. Willis, Jr.
Blessings - TPWC

Thursday, April 04, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 4) - DISARMING HELL THROUGH THANKSGIVING


Thanksgiving agrees with Heaven by acknowledging the truth that our lives are a gift from God, and that He is sovereign over all. God is extravagantly generous, and the life He has given us to experience on this planet is NOT a life of survival BUT of abundance and blessing. BUT unless we properly recognize what we've been given, we won't be able to experience it's benefit.

Imagine Christmas morning. You've spent the last few months shopping and picking out unique gifts for each of your family members that show your intimate knowledge of their interests and desires. You have spared no expense to get gifts of the highest quality that will be both enjoyable and beneficial to each person. BUT when your family comes to the Christmas tree, one person completely ignores the presents. Another person opens your gift, but starts using it for something other than what it was made for. Still another just holds the gift, and refuses to unwrap it. And to make the matters worse, none of them even acknowledge that their gifts are from you.

The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Sadly, this is how many Christians respond to God's gifts, particularly the gifts of the Spirit. So many people fail to receive what the Lord has offered them because they don't understand what the gifts are or how to use them. They say ridiculous things like, "Well, tongues is the least of the gifts, so I don't need to pursue it." If my children said this about one of the presents I had put under the tree for them, I'd be very upset. I'd say, "This is yours! I don't care how small you think it is. I bought it with you in mind, and I don't give cheap gifts. If you'll just open it, I'll show you what it is and how to use it." Such a rejection of gifts is absolute arrogance.

Thankfulness carries an attitude of humilityThanksgiving is the ONLY proper way to receive what God has given us because it honours our relationship with Him by expressing trust in His goodness, even if we don't understand what we've received. God gives us "every good and perfect gift" for TWO primary reasons. He gives to make us prosper so we can succeed in life, and He gives to demonstrate His love as an invitation to relationship. When we practice thanksgiving as a LIFESTYLE, we recognize that the gifts we have received from the Lord came with these purposes. Thanksgiving sets us on course to know God in relationship and discover the reasons for which He made us.

THE GREAT PRICE OF LITTLE THANKS

When God tells us to give Him thanks, He's not insinuating that He gives in order to get something from us. He doesn't manipulate us with His gifts. He wants us to thank Him because thankfulness acknowledges the truth about our lives. And when we agree with the truth, then truth sets us free to see and manifest the greatness that He has put in us as the ones He has made in His image.When we withhold thanks from God, we actually cut ourselves off from who we are. This is what Paul explains in Romans 1:18-21.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness ... so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God they did not glorify Him as God,nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Futile means purposeless. When we fail to sustain the response of thanksgiving for EVERYTHING in our lives, our thinking is cut off from our purpose in God. When we lose sight of our purpose, we will inevitably make choices that are outside of God's intentions for our lives, and this can only be destructive because it works against His design for us. A dark heart is a heart that is unable to perceive spiritual reality. It is unmoved by the desires and affections of the Lord, and therefore cannot respond to His invitation to relationship, which is the source of life.

THE PURIFYING NATURE OF THANKSGIVING

Since thanksgiving keeps us sane and alive by connecting us to the source of our life and purpose, it makes sense that Paul instructs us to give thanks "in everything."

Thanksgiving Keeps Us Sane And Alive

But there is a specific dimension of thanksgiving that s particularly powerful in times of difficulty and adversity. We find this principle in Paul's first letter to Timothy.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons...commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the words of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

When Paul says that thanksgiving sanctifies unclean food, he is saying that it sets it apart for God and His purposes. Thanksgiving actually changes the very nature of the food into something holy. This truth extends beyond unclean food. It extends to EVERY SITUATION in your life in which you find other powers at work besides the power of God. It is vital to remember that NOT EVERYTHING happens in life is His will. He didn't cause the crisis a nation or individual may be facing. He actually can't give things that are not good because He doesn't have them. God only give good good gifts, because He is good, and has only good gifts to give. So giving thanks IN EVERYTHING does not mean saying that the adversity came from God. But giving thanks in the midst of an adverse situation, a difficulty intended to undermine your faith and destroy you, enables you to take hold of that situation and set it apart to God and His purposes. When you give thanks, the weapon the enemy meant to use to dislodge you from your divine purpose is put into your hands and becomes the very thing that brings you more fully into that purpose. Jesus declared that He sends us out with the same assignment the Father gave to Him - to destroy the works of the devil (see 1 John 3:8)Thanksgiving accomplishes the divine of the Kingdom, where the enemy is destroyed by the very thing he intended to use for our destruction. Just knowing that we can participate in destroying the enemy's purposes should alone move us to give thanks!

RELEASING JUSTICE

One of the clearest examples of divine justice in Scripture is found in the Book of Esther: the story of Haman, who was hung on the very gallows he built to destroy Mordecai. Later, this justice was made even more complete when Modecai assumed Haman's position in the king's court. The wonderful thing about this story is that Mordecai didn't have to bring justice himself. He simply kept his focus on his duty to the heathen king and to his people. This is the nature of warfare in the Kingdom. We don't battle by focusing on the devil. We keep our focus on the King and His Kingdom, and the devil cannot help but be unseated by God's ever-increasing government released through our lives, which illustrates another reason why thanksgiving is powerful in times of adversity. Psalm 100:4 says that we "enter His gates with thanksgiving." Thanksgiving brings us into the manifest presence of God and connects us with what He is doing and saying in the midst of our circumstances. Thanksgiving helps to establish our focus on Him so that our awareness SHIFTS from earthly reality to heavenly reality - which we must do in order to release the strength of Heaven into our circumstances.

KEEPING MY AWARENESS OF GOD

When I stay close to the presence of God through thanksgiving, I not only become aware of His absolute ability to invade the impossible, I sense His radical love and delight in me! As I give thanks for the good gifts He's put in my life, I present convincing evidence that He is my Father, He is for me, and His opinion pretty much cancels out all the others. The wonderful thing is that we simply begin to give thanks, even when it seems difficult to remember one answered prayer, it isn't too long before our focus on the good in our lives creates an opening for the Lord's joy. And It 's the joy of the Lord that is our strength. I believe that James was talking about giving thanks when he said to COUNT IT ALL JOY in trial, because giving thanks usually includes taking an inventory of God's gifts in your life. Do the math! If you want to discover the ability of thankfulness to bring you strength in difficulty, you need to keep COUNTING these things UNTIL you come to the conclusion - IT's TIME TO REJOICE! It becomes really hard to stay depressed about your circumstances when you're filled with the awareness of the love and goodness of God that surrounds and infuse your life.

There is a level of life we can reach where we practice THANKSGIVING AS A LIFESTYLE - a place where we remember our answered prayers. When difficulty comes along, we have a huge inventory of blessings instantly accessible to bring us into His presence as well as the joy and delight He has over us. That is far greater than any accusation, crisis, or conflict that could come our way. When we learn to live in THIS REALM, NOTHING can deflect us from our purpose. We even make the enemy help us get it done. From Heaven's perspective, it is reasonable to give thanks "IN EVERYTHING"!
An extract from the book - Strengthen Yourself In The Lord by Bill Johnson
Blessing
TPWC

Thursday, March 07, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 3) - REPLACE THE SPIRIT OF GRUMBLING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING

Replace The Spirit of Grumbling With the Spirit of Thanksgiving

Have you ever stepped outside your door on a beautiful clear sunny day, taken a deep breath of fresh air, and thanked God for His wonderful creation? But what if the next morning is grey and rainy? Does it automatically make you feel a little depressed as you look out of the window? Maybe you don't say it loud, but how do you feel? Are you in the habit of thanking God only for what you want? or are you in the habit of grumbling just a little when things does not go the way you like? 

So what is wrong with a little complaining? What difference does it make? It does make all the difference in the world. Everything depends on how we respond to the little things in life. A marriage counsellor will tell you that a marriage usually breaks up over little things. A small misunderstanding can start a war. Little things mean a lot, because this is the level where we live, down at the nitty-gritty of our attitude at breakfast table, or in the long checkout line at the supermarket.



GRUMBLING IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF THANKSGIVING 
A complaint is the opposite of trust; a murmur against your wife when she burns your toast is the opposite of a loving acceptance. The dictionary defines a complaint as an accusation. By complaining and grumbling you are actually accusing God of mismanaging the details of your life. The attitude of thanksgiving and praise releases the power of God into our lives, but the attitude of murmuring and complaining blocks that power. 

For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and every time something went wrong, they complained bitterly and wanted to go back to the land of Egypt. Why did it take them forty years to cover less than two hundred miles? Even with women and children and cattle, they could have covered the distance in a few weeks. They were delayed because they murmured and refuse to trust that God would keep His promise to take care of their every need. In 1 Corinthians 10:10-11, the apostle Paul was speaking about the behaviour of the Israelite in their wanderings from Egypt to the Promised Land ... "And do not grumble, some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us ..." (Extract from Power In Praise by Merlin R. Carothers) 

To be a worshipper, we need to begin by DISCIPLINING our lives daily with the spirit of thanksgiving. This is easier said than done because most of us would agree that we are habitual grumblers. We grumble when we miss the bus to work and when we have to work late. We complain when the car would not start or when we hit a red light or are caught in a traffic jam. Even at meal time, we unconsciously complain about the food and the poor service provided by the restaurant. The list is endless ... but let us take heed that unless we overcome this deadly habit of grumbling, complaining and murmuring, it will rob us of the blessings and joy of the Lord. 

"IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD" 1Thessalonians 5:18. The simple application of this biblical truth covers EVERY situation or circumstance in our lives.
The benefits of a thankful heart are many ... by giving thanks:
1) We are in His divine will and itself will lead us out of the wilderness experience and into a victorious walk with the Lord
2) We have immediate access to enter into His gates (His presence) and in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 100:4, 16:11)
3) The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

No wonder the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 commanded us to "Rejoice in the Lord always!"and in Colossians 3:17 that "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks ..."

GRUMBLING VS THANKSGIVING
Unbelief - Faith / Trust
Defeat - Victory
Anger - Joy
In The Wilderness - In His Will 
Degradation - Transformation


Make a point today to make a choice to give thanks and count it all joy even in diverse circumstances (James 1:2) ... for ALL THINGS work together for good (Romans 8:28)

Monday, February 18, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 2) - SQUASH ANXIETY WITH THANKSGIVING




Beware Of Anxiety. Next To Sin,
There Is Nothing That So Troubles
Our Mind, Strains The Heart,
Distresses The Soul,
And Confuse The Judgement
- William Ullathorne

As worshipers, what will cripple us from doing God’s will and enjoying His presence? What will rob us of the joy of the LordANXIETY! ANXIETY! ANXIETY!

Why is Paul so concerned with our level of anxiety? Because :
1) Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”
2) Isaiah 61:3 equate this as "the spirit of heaviness"
3) Psalm 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughtsSee if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." It's a little disturbing to us that king David equates anxious thoughts with an "offensive way" (verse 24) in this Psalm.

In what way can our anxiety be awfully offensive?:
- When we harbour anxious thoughts, we are saying that the One who has promised to take care of our future (Jeremiah 29:11) might not do a good job of it.
- It says that the One who has promised to walk us through the waters and not allow the fire to burn us (Isaiah 43:2) might abandon us to the waters and the fire.
- And it says that His presence in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) might not be enough to calm us
(an extract from Worship The King & Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)

What is the solution to our anxiety
We learned from the last blog post (see part 1) that the answers are found in Philippians 4:6-7. That we “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” When our prayers and petitions are mingled with THANKSGIVING, we are opening our hearts (guarding your hearts - Proverbs 4:23) to His presence. 
Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates (opening your heart) with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE; give THANKS to Him and PRAISE His name.” Instead of occupying our thoughts with the spirit of anxiety, we “PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness (heavy, burdened, failing spirit)” - Isaiah 61:3
Jesus taught us, " ... do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." - verse 34 (Matthew 6: 25-34 in context)

Imagine a son lying awake at night wondering if his parents are going to feed him tomorrow. Or a daughter wondering if she will have something to clothe herself in. That might happen in some homes, but what does it say of the parents? Nothing complimentary.

As worshipers of God we cannot praise Him with such insecurities. Our anxieties are forms of anti-worship - a clear declaration that our God might not have promised us enough or might not be able to follow through on what He has promised. Yes, He may let us go through hard things, but never ourside of His timing or beyond His protection. So worship Him. And don't worry about tomorrow!
Blessings
Pastor Ricky

Monday, January 21, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 1): REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!!!


A mindless sense of well being that ignores what is going on around you is not what Paul has in mind when he tells the Philippians to Rejoice In The Lord Always. The letter he writes to them is filled with recognition of difficult circumstances that they are all facing. In the opening words of the letter Paul acknowledges his own situation as a prisoner facing execution. A little later he encourages the Philippians to remain strong in the face of opposition that currently threatens them as well. Yet even in the face of execution, persecution, and suffering, Paul repeatedly calls on them to have JOY, to Rejoice In The Lord.

Firstly let us note that Paul has issued this statement as a command from the Lord. Has God ever issued a command that could not be carried out? Never! The very fact of a divine command proves that obedience is possible. Note further, God not only demands that we rejoice; He demands that we rejoice CEASELESSLY.

So how do we follow this command to Rejoice In The Lord Always, even when things are going horribly wrong? There is a basis for it: Paul does not tell us to rejoice in our circumstances. He tells us to Rejoice In The Lord and he tells us this REPEATEDLY. He even acknowledges that he is repeating himself but says that it is good for us to be reminded again and again to rejoice always. But our rejoicing must be “IN THE LORD”. When our circumstances cause us nothing but grief, disappointments, fears and doubts we can still be glad and strong because our JOY is not based on fluctuating circumstances, but has it's SOURCE in the One Who loves us and is the object of our love


Secondly, Rejoicing is a matter of our CHOICE. There is a great difference between JOY & HAPPINESSJoy is the realm of the spirit whereas happiness is related to our emotions, feelings and circumstances. When things are going well, we have happiness. It is good to have happiness, but we cannot have it all the time.

To illustrate: If I lost my wallet, I would be very happy when the founder returned it to me. After a few days, I would no longer have the feeling of happiness although my wallet is still with me. What I have actually lost is the feeling of happiness at the time of finding it.
 

JOY on the other hand, is not dependent on feelings or circumstances. There is only one source of JOY and that is God - God Himself! That is why it is possible to "Rejoice In The Lord Always!" and they are able to do so because "the Lord is near" (Philippians 4:5) - [In His Presence is fullness of JOY (Psalm 16:11)]. You will note that while rejoicing they are also encouraged to submit their petitions and prayers which include the spirit of thanksgiving(Philippians 4:6) And the resultance is having "the peace of God(Philippians 4:7) in midst of whatever circumstances.

Beloved, if we but exercise our faith and choice to "rejoice in the Lord", in the midst of our adverse circumstances, these negative feelings of grief, fear, doubt and anger will just melt away! 
Therefore, we are able to declare apostle James' message to "count it all joy even when we fall into divers trials or testing(James 1:2) because it is "The Joy of the Lord" which is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) that will carry us through.



HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON WHAT HAPPENS. JOY DOES NOT 
- Oswald Chambers -

Have A Joyous and Victorious Week
Pastor Ricky
#Rejoice In The Lord Always #The Spirit Of Thanksgiving #The Joy Of The Lord