Living By Faith

MAXIMUM JOY

Consider it maximum joy, my brothers, when you get involved in all sorts of trials. (James 1:2 | Berkeley)

 

“The reason the devil is putting pressure on you is because God’s got a blessing for you!” – Mark Hankins

 

I played on the championship football team in high school. We were undefeated, so we always went out fully expecting to win. One day the coach told me, “Now Hankins,” as he grabbed me by my shoulder pads, “you might be able to go around the tackle, but by the time you go around him, what you’re looking for already went by.”

Then he said, “The only way you can play defense is not to avoid the pressure the tackle is putting on you. You can’t go around him — if you do, you will miss what you’re after. You’ve got to fight through the pressure.”

The reason the devil is putting pressure on you is because God’s got a blessing coming for you! So when pressure comes from every side, face it and get happy right in the middle of it! The devil is saying, “Hey, give up and just go around.” You say, “No. I am not going around. I am going through this tackle!”

 

Confession: The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon my high places. (Habakkuk 3:19)

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JOY’S MULTIFACETED CONNECTION

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalm 68:3)

 

“Joy and rejoicing are simply a choice that we make daily.” – Mark Hankins

 

Look at all of the blessings of God that are connected to joy.  Joy is connected to:

  • God’s presence (Psalm 16:11)
  • God’s strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • God’s salvation (Isaiah 12:3)
  • The anointing – the oil of joy (Hebrews 1:9)
  • God’s medicine (Proverbs 17:22)
  • God’s Word (Jeremiah 15:16; Psalm 119:162)
  • Prosperity (2 Corinthians 9:6-10; Psalm 105:37-45)

It seems that if Satan can steal our joy, then he can damage a lot of other things in our lives.

It is clear that God did not create us to be miserable. He created us in Christ to enjoy life and to have dominion. Joy is one of the great secrets of faith. One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is the one of Him laughing triumphantly. Jesus sits in the heavens and laughs. (Psalm 2:4) Make the choice to rejoice!

 

Confession: I rejoice with exceeding great joy because I know that I am blessed.   God created me to enjoy my life and have dominion. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice! (Psalm 63:7)

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THE SECRET POWER OF JOY

Even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself. (1 Peter 1:8 | TLB)

 

“Rejoicing is an act of faith.” – Mark Hankins

 

One day, the Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, “If you only knew what happens in the spirit when you rejoice, you would rejoice every day.” When we rejoice, we are acting like sons and daughters of God!

Rejoicing is an act of faith. Remember the words of Paul in Acts 27:25, “Cheer up…I believe God that it shall be as He told me.”  When we believe God, we can cheer up!  Believing and rejoicing ushers in the glory and goodness of God in our lives.

Rejoicing enables us to make progress in difficult times. Joy is the secret of faith and endurance. James 1:2 says to count it all joy when trouble comes. This must be why Job laughed at destruction and trouble. (Job 5:22) Of course some people may think you are a fool, but if you have found joy, you have found the secret of survival and success.

 

Confession: Even now I am happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself!  The joy of the Lord is my strength. Just like Job, I laugh at destruction and trouble because I know that joy is the secret of faith and endurance. Ha! Ha! Ha!

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REJOICING: A FORM OF HUMILITY

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

 

“Rejoicing is a form of humility.” – Mark Hankins

 

In 2 Samuel 6, the Ark of the Covenant was coming into Jerusalem. The Bible says when the ark came into the city King David danced before the Lord with all of his might. The scripture says he threw off his royal robe and danced in his under clothes because of the glory that was coming back! David loved to be in the presence of God!

After he had danced before the Lord, David fed the entire nation. When he went to bless his household, his wife told him that he looked like a fool. She despised him in her heart because of his response to the presence of God. David responded to her by saying, “I will yet be more vile than this. I will humble myself in the sight of the people, and I will lower myself in my own sight.” (2 Samuel 6:22)

David’s rejoicing was a form of humility. If you are more concerned with what people think about you than what God thinks about you, you will never walk in victory. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up!

 

Confession: I will rejoice in the Lord and humble myself before Him because He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

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SACRIFICES OF JOY

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me:  therefore, will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. (Psalm 27:6)

 

“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up!” – Mark Hankins

 

David said, “I get in the presence of God, and I offer Him sacrifices of joy.”  What would that look like? In other translations it says, “sacrifices of shouting.” Can you imagine David getting in the presence of God?

I remember one time as I was leaving my place of prayer, the Holy Ghost said, “You’re not going to dance? The Father likes it when you dance.”  So there I was trying to be spiritual and dignified, and God wanted me to dance. I began to dance and said, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, can’t nobody do me like Jesus, ha, ha, ha!” Suddenly, the Holy Ghost came on me. I thought, “He does like that! I believe I will do that again!” One of the greatest things it did was to crucify my flesh because my flesh did not want to act like that.

 

Confession: I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy–sacrifices of shouting! I will dance and sing praises to the Lord!

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