JOY, STRENGTH AND PRAYER
(week 52/12)
OLUBI JOHNSON

Romans 14:17 KJV: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit: it is a spiritual force that comes from the Holy Spirit to the recreated, born-again human spirit.

Joy gives elation to the emotions irrespective of the physical circumstances: this is in contrast to happiness which is an elation of the emotions due to a happening or physical circumstance.

We are happy when something good is happening or has just happened; but if something negative happens happiness quickly dissipates to sadness and discouragement.

Joy on the other hand elates and strengthens our emotions before we see any change in our physical circumstances:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 KJV: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation

We must make sure that the joy of the Lord is constantly flowing from the Holy Spirit through our spirits into our emotions because it is the joy of the Lord that gives us the spiritual strength to continue in prayer during tribulations.

Nehemiah 8:10 KJV: 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.

Romans 12:12 KJV: Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

In situations in which all hope seems to be lost and there seems to be no zest or strength to even pray, like David at Ziklag when the Amalekites had carried away all their wives and children, how can we tap into the joy of the Lord?

1S amuel 30:1-4 KJV: And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;  (2) And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.  (3) So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.  (4) Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

We tap into the joy of the Lord by thinking on the mercy of the Lord to help us in a helpless situation, like David did at Ziklag.

1 Samuel 30:8 AMP:  And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.

Psalms 77:2-12 KJV: In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.  (3) I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.  (4) Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.  (5) I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.  (6) I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.  (7) Will the Lord cast off forever? And will he be favourable no more?  (8) Is his mercy clean gone forever? Doth his promise fail for evermore?  (9) Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.  (10) And I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.  (11) I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.  (12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

So, in the day of trouble, seek God firstly by your thoughts because you may be too weak or discouraged to even talk; as you do this, God will begin to give you joy through your thoughts, by His sovereign mercy which is always present in the air, into your spirit and mind, this joy will then give you strength to speak the Word of God in prayer to receive life and to begin to pray in the Spirit in all kinds of prayer (Eph. 6.18) with tongues (1 Cor. 14:2, 5, 18) and travail (Gal. 4:19, Rom. 8:26 & Heb. 5:7). The power God released through prayer will then turn your situation around and give you victory over the tribulation like God did for David at Ziklag and Paul in the jail at Philippi.

Acts 16:25-26 KJV: And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  (26)  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

1Samuel 30:17-19 KJV: And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.  (18) And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.  (19) And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.

So as we ‘smite’ the ‘Amalekites’ symbolizing the crucifying of the flesh by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13) in prayer by the strength of the joy we receive from the Lord through our thoughts, we too will recover all in every attack or tribulation we face!

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