Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give constant thanks, such is My Will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Read that again. Rejoicing is not an option. It is a clear command. I know what you need. To prosper and be in good health, you must rejoice. A depressed spirit dries up the bones, but a cheerful heart does good like a medicine.

I did not say, “rejoice when you feel like it,” or “rejoice when everything is perfect in your life,” I said rejoice ALWAYS. You may sow in tears but you must reap with joy. Without rejoicing your harvest will not come. Jesus said, “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” John 4:36.

Today we continue our series “It is time to enter God’s Rest,” with Life Lesson No. 7: “A Place of Rejoicing.” You can only be in shalom shalom, that is, perfect peace, when you have joy. And joy comes in rejoicing. In My presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11. My rest is filled with joyful rejoicing. “And He brought forth His people with rejoicing, and His chosen with joyful shouts and singing.” Psalm 105:43. And that is how I deliver you; I surround you with songs of deliverance in My secret place. Psalm 32:7.

“Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You cover them with your protection. Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, bless the righteous; with favor You surround them as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12. And that describes being shielded and covered in My Rest. “Come share your Master’s joy!”

David sang, “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the delightful beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices of shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” Psalm 27:4-6. In the secret place what was he offering? Shouts of joy and songs of praise. He was rejoicing. And this is what he was doing while under attack! “Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.” Psalm 27:3.

Jesus told His disciples the night before He gave His life for your sins, “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” John 16:20-21. Resurrection joy. A torturous death, the darkness of a tomb, the depths of hell, and suddenly a burst of light, angels present, a stone rolled back, an empty tomb, and Jesus was with them, perfect in beauty and speaking “Shalom.”

But you may be wondering, how can you have this joy that no one can take from you when you are in the midst of a battle, a storm, a heavy trial and you want to give in to a desperate sadness laced with fear? The answer of course is in My Word, the first believers were thrown into great trials, persecutions, and abusive treatment, but I tell you that, “the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:50-52. Jesus also had many adversities and trials in His life on earth, all the way to false accusations, rejection, betrayal, and ultimately crucifixion and death, but He was joyful. I tell you that, “At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.’” Luke 10:21. He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit.

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. My Spirit in your spirit produces it as you abide in Me and My Word abides in you. So, the answer to rejoicing always, is being continually filled with the Holy Spirit. He is with you and in you who believe forever so you can have fullness of joy, a joy no one can take from you, at every moment forever. And the joy He produces in you comes from knowing the truth which sets you free. He guides you to all truth and teaches you all things. He sanctifies you in truth. And what is truth? My Word is truth. John 17:17.

And a clear conscience and a life of honor and integrity give you peace and joy. And if you are rejoicing, you will not sin. There is no room for anger, resentment, offense, envy, jealousy, doubt, fear, addiction, depression, regret, or defeat in a rejoicing, thankful heart. You are so full of My goodness that nothing else needs be added.

Why do people rejoice? Victory, being on the winning team, awards, being healed, having bills paid, having riches, being blessed, being delivered from bad situations, and having favor. If you know and believe My Words, you know that in Christ Jesus, ALL these things are yours. You can have them. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13. Again, the Holy Spirit within you as the giver of hope and joy and peace. The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Entering My Rest with Me is forever. And you enter that Kingdom within you even now. And you access it by the Holy Spirit. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7.

How do you get filled with the Holy Spirit? When on Pentecost, the disciples all got filled with the Holy Spirit they were so filled with joy and rejoicing that the crowd supposed them drunk. And yet none of their outward circumstances had changed. The change was on the inside, deep in their awakened, born again spirit that had become alive to God and dead to sin. You must drink of the Holy Spirit, the living water flowing from My throne that Jesus told you to come to Him and drink if you are thirsty, and to drink so much that living waters would flow out of you. An overflow of My joy, for My joy is your strength. It is so important for you to understand this that in the closing of the Book of Revelation that the Holy Spirit and the Bride (church) call out to you, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Revelation 22:17.

So how do you drink? How do you get filled? My apostle Paul who directed you to rejoice gave you instructions, “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time (redeeming the time), because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-21. Paul started off in the preceding chapter and the chapter where these verses are found by first telling you to imitate Me as My dear children and walk in love, to avoid worldly idle chatter, obscene speech, offensive comments, malice and slander and to speak only that which gives grace to the hearer—to live as children of the light and avoid the unfruitful deeds of darkness. And the way to do this is by changing what you are thinking about and saying. If you are speaking to yourself in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and making melody in the spirit to Me, deep within your innermost being, you will have joy. What you are thinking on and speaking to yourself is the most important determiner of whether you have joy or sorrow, whether you are thankful for what you have or are filled with regret and envy.

It is all in how you are looking at yourself and your life and what you are telling yourself about it. AND YOU WILL ONLY HAVE PEACE AND JOY WHEN YOU LINE UP WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO YOURSELF ABOUT YOURSELF WITH WHAT I SAY ABOUT YOU IN MY WORD. It is then and only then that no weapon formed against you can prosper and every tongue raised in accusation against you, you will prove false. As long as you are dishonoring, despising, regretting, shaming, and blaming yourself and looking at what you have as nothing, you will never be able to rejoice no matter how much you shout in the crowd at church.

My apostle Paul went through this. He called himself the worst of all sinners. He had condoned the stoning of Stephen and taken many of the early Church members to prison and death thinking he was serving Me. But when he met Jesus in the vision on the road to Damascus everything he had thought the truth about Jesus and himself became a lie. He had to renew his mind and see himself as forgiven, loved, and so honored in My sight that I gave him an assignment that he considered awesome and beyond all he could ask or imagine. He learned from Me how to be cleansed in the blood of My Son, to forget what lay behind, to see himself as honored and beloved, and to rejoice always in the great things I had done and continued doing in his life. He did not see the persecutions and hatred of those who once loved him, the abuse he suffered at the officials’ hands, the false charges, imprisonments, and trials as anything but momentary light afflictions for which he was receiving an eternal weight of glory with tremendous reward. He viewed himself as most blessed of all men and told you to imitate him as he imitated Christ. He was content with praise and abundance, and he was content with reviling and lack, his joy was to be doing what I called him to do, which he considered an honor beyond all he could ask or imagine. Do you see your life that way? Do you rejoice that no matter what you have done, I have forgiven you? Do you rejoice that you are holy and blameless in My sight? Do you rejoice that I have favored you with the joy of knowing My Son? Do you rejoice that when sickness tries to come upon you that I am your healer and that I have already given you healing in My Son? All you have to do is rejoice in it and take it. With JOY you will draw water from the springs of Salvation (Yeshuah). Dip in with joy into Jesus for all My promises are YES to you in Him and drink freely of the water of life until all the illness and pain is washed out of you by the water of My Word. Water yourself with My Word. It is a fountain of eternal life.

Joshua and Caleb saw themselves as I told them they were more than conquerors and they said so. The rest of the Israelites viewed themselves as ineffectual grasshoppers and they said so. And both became what they told themselves they were. By your words you are acquitted and by your words you are condemned. Agree with Me and you will be acquitted! For in Jesus is the righteousness of God made available to you. Agree with the accusations of the devil, and, as he is, so you too will be, condemned.

Death and life are in the power (hand) of your tongue. But it all comes down to what you are thinking about yourself. Think My thoughts and you will rejoice. There is no room for anything else. Just read about yourself in the first three chapters of Ephesians and you will be shouting with joy unspeakable filled with glory.

Change your thoughts and transform your life. What are you telling yourself right now? Is it line up with the truth, which is My Word, or is it stout against it?

I love you. My rest is a place of rejoicing. Watch yourself in this and if you are sinking into the miry depths of darkness and despair, let Me pull you out and put your feet on a height with a new song of praise in your mouth. Stop staring into and saying the words you hear in the darkness and come into My own marvelous light, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10. Start singing melodies of psalms, hymns and songs of the spirit to yourself until you get filled with the Holy Spirit. When was the last time you danced around your room shouting for joy that you are saved, beloved, forgiven, and headed for Heaven? Just read Revelation 21 and 22 and realize where your journey is headed and that Jesus paid the price for you to enter with great celebration and earned you a wonderful place there. There is cause for rejoicing here.

Encourage the exhausted and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah. The scorched land will become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, its resting place, grass becomes reeds and rushes. A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it;
these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:3-10.