THE POWER OF JOY!
Pastor Brenda Kunneman
As Christians, we are called the body of Christ. He is the head and we are His body. According to the Bible, we are no longer separate from Christ, but in fact we have been made one with Him. For how can the body be separated from the head? We are one with Christ! We are in Him and He is in us. We are created after His image and divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” This is literally what it means to live and abide in Christ as one with Him.
But, there is more to being a partaker of His divine nature than just having knowledge of the fact that you are one with Christ. The word “partake” in that scripture comes from the Greek word koinonos, which means to have in common and to share in something. So if we are to share and have in common Christ’s nature, then we need to look at the many characteristics of His nature and pursue developing those same characteristics in our lives. The following verse sums it up in a nutshell. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk even as he walked. 1 John 2:6.
The Power of Joy
To be in His nature means we are to act like we are in His nature. We are to live like Him, act like Him, and minister like Him in every way. One way we are to live like Him is in the area of joy. If you look at Galatians 5, you will find that joy is one of the fruits of the spirit! It is amazing how we forget about it. The Bible teaches us that we are able to have joy in any situation. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world.”The devil has all kinds of plans, schemes, evils and trials to use in an attempt to thwart the people of God. It is his aim to bring some kind of trial so that you will get discouraged and down and begin to doubt the Lord and his Word. He wants you to begin to believe that God is not interested in helping you for some reason or another. Or perhaps he has hoodwinked you into thinking that God is just mad at you and left you to struggle on your own. You don’t have to receive that lie from the devil. Remember Jesus said, “Be of good cheer”! Being of good cheer means to be full of joy. But how can you be full of joy even in the trying times? Look at it this way. Jesus said, be of good cheer, and He would not ask me to do something I could not do. So it must be possible for me to have joy in tribulation. Why did he say I could do it? Because He has overcome the world!
Satan wants you to continually focus on how bad everything is, rather than on the Lord who has an answer for every circumstance. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL” And of course, all means all! That is something to shout about! God does not pick and choose what He wants to deliver you from and not deliver you from. He said he would deliver you from all affliction and He meant what he said. So when our focus is on the God of deliverance and not on the power of our circumstances we can have joy in every situation!
It was the power of joy that Jesus had that caused Him to overcome the pain of the cross onto his powerful resurrection. We need to look at this characteristic of his nature and let it be our example in being the same way. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy that Jesus kept on the inside of Him, empowered Him to endure the cross, it also led Him to the victory of His resurrection and it set Him down to rule at God’s right hand! Jesus looked beyond the cross to the joy of the resurrection. That is just how He wants us to respond to our circumstances.
Joy is a powerful force! In fact, it is a powerful force in you. It gives you spiritual muscles. Nehemiah 8:10, says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength”. Strength for what? The strength or withstand and forbid the power of the devil to operate in your life! Jesus has overcome the devil. Don’t get angry, depressed and fearful! Shout, laugh, rejoice! The greater one is on the inside of you. You are a partaker in the divine nature of God. If Jesus could overcome the devil so can you, because you are one with Him. “And nothing shall harm or injure you.” (Luke 10:19)