Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:13-17.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:

Rejoice always! Joy is strength. Joyful people are strong people. Sad, discouraged, depressed people are weak. And it is up to you what you will be in that respect. If you are basing your joy on what others around you are doing, that is not pure joy and it will not last. Jacob’s son Joseph walked in joy whether he was serving as a slave because of the betrayal of his brothers, being held in prison because of the lies of his master’s wife, or ruling and reigning with Pharaoh over Egypt. Why? Because his joy was based on something higher than the behavior of others. It was based upon walking with Me as I led him in right paths for My Name’s sake in the fulfillment of his dreams.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give constant thanks, for this is My Will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. If you want to be doing My Will, this is not optional. If you desire to live a life of victory and blessing you must be serious about doing all these three. And it takes diligence. You must contend against the world, the flesh and the devil to maintain yourself in the stance of joy, prayer, and thanksgiving, but it is your very life. Do not just skip this Scripture passage lightly if you really want the abundant life I desire for you to have.

And, since we have just covered praying without ceasing and giving constant thanks, today’s Life Lesson in what to do when Satan attacks is “Rejoice Always.” Satan does not know what to do when you just keep rejoicing over My goodness and My promises, he knows then there is nothing he can do to stop them from coming to pass, for you are living by faith. The righteous shall live by faith. And blessed are you if you don’t back down and let go of your confession (agreement with My Word) when he attacks. Keeping My Word has great reward, and if you endure, you will have joy beyond joy, for joy is everlasting, “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 35:10. You who stay on the Highway of Holiness enter the Kingdom crowned with JOY.

Rejoice for My joy is your strength and a joyful heart is good medicine but a depressed spirit dries up the bones. Nehemiah 8:10, Proverbs 17:22.

What is joy? It has many facets and many expressions but basically it is looking up instead of down. By which I mean seeing by the spirit and not just by the flesh. Look at Me, which means to look at My Word regarding what you are facing and put your focus on the promise and not the dreaded outcome, and you will be radiant and your face will never blush with shame. “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice.” Isaiah 60:1-4.

“To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!” Psalm 123:1. And then I can show you great and mighty things that are coming to you. I told Abraham, when it seemed Lot took the best part of the land, to lift up his eyes and look from the place where he was, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which he saw, I swore to give to him and his descendants. Genesis 13:14-15. And when Jacob saw no way to recover his wages that Laban was tricking him out of continually, I told him to lift up his eyes and showed him in a dream the solution so that he checked Laban’s schemes and won the game. Genesis 31:10-12. And when Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, he saw the Prince, the Captain of the My heavenly host. The leader of the angelic armies to fight with him as he entered the promised land and approached the walled city of Jericho. Joshua 5:13.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at My right hand. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. And you will see the glory that is yours. Colossians 3:1-2. And it will give you joy unspeakable filled with glory. “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your soul.” 1 Peter 1:8-9.

Joy comes when you walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Why? It is produced in your spirit by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23. Jesus is the true vine, I am the vine keeper, John 15:1, and you are the branches, John 15:5, and in Him My divine life flows into you by My Spirit like the sap from the vine flows into the branches producing the fruit with the characteristics of the vine. “The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green.” Psalm 92:12-14. And what do I tell you they are doing to flourish even in old age? Singing praises to My Name, declaring My lovingkindness in the morning and My faithfulness by night. Why? “For You, O LORD, have given me joy by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalm 92:1-4. Joy comes when you lift your eyes to what I have done for you in Jesus and in your life, carrying you from your mother’s womb till your old age, and considering the greatness of all the works of My hands. To enlarge his vision I had to make Abraham look at the vastness and beauty of the stars and the story they tell. Do not be like the barren bush in the desert that never sees good when it comes and remains in a desolate and empty place.

But there is more that I tell you in Psalm 92. They are flourishing and bearing fruit even in old age, being full of sap and very green because I have anointed them with luxuriant fresh oil! Psalm 92:10. I anointed Jesus, who is your great High Priest, with the OIL OF JOY. Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9. And the anointing on the head (and you are members of His body, the church) runs down over the entire body. Psalm 133:2 (“It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.”). The crown of joy. I give you a crown, a diadem, instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting, so you will be called oaks of righteousness, planted by Me, that I may be glorified in you. Isaiah 61:3. Joyful praise is what you hear on the Highway of Holiness where the redeemed walk the Way and the devil cannot go UP on it. Isaiah 35:8-9. The devil tries to make you look down in the dirt where he crawls and wallow in it, he tries to make you eat dirt, but if you raise up to look in higher realms, there the devil’s fiery darts, that is, his thoughts, like a snake at a high altitude, must die. The anointing LIFTS the burden and destroys the yoke.

And how do you receive that anointing? My Word is anointed. Remember what Jesus told you who remain in His Word, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11. And when He prayed to Me for you, “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” John 17:13. The joy is in My Word, Jesus is My Word made flesh. “Your Words were found and I ate them, and Your Words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16. And My Word cleanses you of all that dirt that holds you down. Jesus told you that, “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.” John 15:3.

“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27. And being clean and holy gives you joy!

“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10.

Righteousness is a joy. And I have made you righteous in Jesus, not by your works but by His. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17.

RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. Joy is the flower of righteousness and peace. “I will hear what God the LORD will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.” Psalm 85: 8-11.

And at the Last Supper, as His everlasting legacy to you, He gave you who believe in Him, His peace, His joy, and His righteousness (in His Body and Blood that He gave for you so that your sins and unrighteousness were washed away the next day on the Cross). And He promised to send you the Holy Spirit once He was glorified and all your sins were gone.

It has pleased Me to give you the Kingdom, and I invite you to come share your Master’s joy!

“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11.

How do you have joy all the time? If you look in My Word I give you the answers. I tell you many things about where joy is found. First and foremost, joy comes by believing My Word, by having faith in My Word. “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. And do you recall that when My Son was going to the house of Jairus at his request to heal his daughter that the report came that she was dead? Do you remember Jesus’ response? “Do not fear, ONLY believe.” Jairus decided to do just that and he had the joy of walking in peace and the joy of seeing his daughter raised from the dead. Nothing is impossible for Me and all things are possible to those who believe that. And it will be a joy to you to exercise your faith by speaking to the mountains in your life, the storms that come, and any other thing the devil raises up contrary to My Word and watch it go down. And once you start seeing this, you will stick with it no matter how long it takes because you know you will win and he will lose. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3.

I am clear that joy comes in prayer. In pouring out your heart before Me and letting Me minister to you in the fellowship of prayer. “Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:7. Prayer is living in My presence, and in My presence there is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11. “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9. And My Son told you that whatever you ask in His Name He will do so that your joy may be full. John 16:24 (“Until now you have asked for nothing in My Name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”) And it is by prayer you come with confidence into the very Holy of Holies to receive mercy and find grace to help right when you need it. Hebrews 4:16. And when you pray in the Spirit, you will see all things work together for good for you who love Me and are called according to My purpose. Romans 8:26-28. Paul prayed with joy. Philippians 1:4.

And joy comes by taking up the garment of praise instead of your spirit of fainting and singing joyful songs of praise and thanksgiving. “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. “Sing for joy to God our strength; shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.” Psalm 81:1. “How blessed are the people who know the joyful shout! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance.” Psalm 89:15. “Serve the LORD with joy; come before Him with joyful singing.” Psalm 100:2. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” Psalm 126:5. “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3. “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 35:10. O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2.

The only way you can be delivered from a situation that is holding you captive is by worshipping with joy. “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace.” Isaiah 55:12. I deliver you out with joy, “And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shout.” Psalm 105:43. “Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the LORD.” Zechariah 2:10. “That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, or the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the realm of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25.

And no matter what the persecution Satan may bring against you, you can be filled with joy that overcomes. How? Look at the early church, under great persecution “the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you are filled with JOY. My joy, until it overflows like a river out to those around you, breaks the chains, and sets the captives free. Remember Paul and Silas singing joyful praises bound in chains in the prison at Philippi? It broke all the chains and opened all the gates. The anointing lifts the burden and destroys the yoke. And how do you get filled with the Holy Spirit? We are back to singing again, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your 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 and one another 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.” Ephesians 5:15-20.

When you walk in the Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy, the devil is no longer a problem. You can win every time for all your mouth is full of is My Word. My Word is sweet to your palate. Victory is sweet.

I love you. Let My Joy be in you and you will be strong. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows.” Psalm 45:7.