All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15.

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

Another lie of the devil that does not seem like a lie at all is that your joy depends on your circumstances. But the truth is that your circumstances depend on your joy.

There are people in royal palaces with everything you would think would give them joy, there are people famous in their field of expertise who seem to have everything who are depressed and have no joy, there are fellow students, co-workers, and family members all around you that are lacking nothing except one thing, joy; and yet Paul in a dark prison cell wrote to the churches, “I am overflowing with JOY,” and “I have learned to be content in every circumstance I am in.” And he could do all things, face all things, and change all things by the One who strengthened him. And He was referring to Me as his strength and song. Yes, My joy is your joy and your strength is in My joy, which I have given to you.

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.

You will have trials in this life, but CHEER UP, I have given you Jesus and He has overcome the world. And so can you by a mindset of joy, which you already have by My Words which I have shared with you and put in your mouth as I cover you with My hand and pour out joy in My gift of the Holy Spirit. And the fruit you produce through His power flowing in you is the fruit of the Vine you are attached to, which is Jesus, your life and hope, and the anointing that is on Him is now flowing into you, and that is the anointing with the oil of JOY.

Do you want the joy that no man and nothing can take from you? It is all in where you set your mind and what you decide to allow yourself to think upon.

I will tell you the major reason, although there are many, that people have no joy who seem to have everything. It is because they have focused on the one thing in their circumstances or past that is causing them irritation, displeasure, hurt, remorse, fear, or anger. This could be a health issue, a financial fear of the future or of loss in their present circumstances, a past sin or an addiction, fear of things they have done that are wrong or merely sloppy will be found out, a family member or person such as a boss or co-worker that they find hateful and entrapping but there seems no way out, or just a dark cloud of sadness and unknowing that has come upon them. Whatever it is whether real or imaginary, it has taken them captive into thinking and mulling over that continually. And that is the problem. What you are allowing your mind to dwell on.

And that was Paul’s secret to joy. He monitored his thoughts, like a boxer, and not a shadow boxer, he took his thoughts and imaginations captive and threw them out if they did not line up with the obedience of Christ.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9.

And in this passage, he has set forth his formula for joy, but he had one more ingredient that set all that in motion. Worship in songs of praise and thanksgiving.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves 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 5:18-20.

Moses, David, and Isaiah all wrote songs by the Spirit where they shared with you the secret of salvation victory, “The LORD is my strength and song and He has become my salvation.” They drew water at the springs of Salvation. The water from the rock, who is Christ, that flows from My throne as My Gift to you and is poured out on you who believe by Jesus, the living water of the Holy Spirit, the river of delights that I give for you to drink. Liquid joy. Talk about a power drink!

This is joy bringing victory over circumstances, it won’t just make you joyful in status quo, though that is where it starts for the hope that lays before you, but it will bring it all to joyful victory. This is the power weapon of the voice of thanksgiving in songs of joyful praise in the midst of your captivity, like Paul and Silas in the prison cell in Philippi and Jehoshaphat in the face of three enemy armies! I surround you with songs of deliverance, you just have to join in.

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Psalm 33:7.

I delivered My people out of the captivity of Egypt and led them out with songs and shouts of joy!

And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shouts and singing. Psalm 105:43.

You go out with JOY and are led forth with peace. Isaiah 55:12.

And Moses heard My songs of joyful victory and on the other side of the Red Sea when the Egyptian army would never be seen again in their lives, he and the Israelites sang the song to Me with tambourines and dancing. Exodus 15:1-20. I was their strength and song.

The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him. Exodus 15:2.

My Word does not return void. And that song, after giving joyful thanks for what I had done, went on to faith declarations and thanksgiving for what was to come as they approached the Promised Land.

“In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. The peoples have heard, they tremble; anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; the leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; by the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; until Your people pass over, O LORD, until the people pass over whom You have purchased. You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established. The Lord shall reign forever and ever.” Exodus 15:13-18.

They celebrated in the first part of the song the victory over Egypt and their great and miraculous delivery from slavery and the attack of the enemy to take them back into captivity, Exodus 15:1-12, and then they went on in the second part to celebrate and sing of the coming fulfillment and triumph of all I had promised them for the future.

But the people forgot the song and their mindset went from the joy that lay before them to their present circumstances in the wilderness and they fell into the mindset of whining, grumbling, and fear and that became their daily conversation filled with accusation and blame of Me and of Moses. And when they got to the edge of the land I had promised them they kept that mindset and only looked at the circumstances and took their minds off Me and My Word. All night they mulled over the thoughts of giants and trouble and got more and more fearful, angry, and depressed. They cried and whined all night. They went into a dark valley of trouble and never realized they could open the door of hope by singing as they did when they first came out of Egypt.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor (in Hebrew “achor” means “trouble”) as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-15.

It would have been far different for the Israelites who refused to take the land I promised them if instead of a mindset of worry and fear that gave voice to complaining, grumbling, and depression about their circumstances all across the wilderness in their journey to the land I promised them they would have sung their song of thanksgiving victory that they sang to Me when they came out of Egypt as they drank the water from the rock and ate the bread of Heaven.

But I would like you to consider that Moses never stopped singing. He sang a prophetic song at the close of his life to the Israelites that I share with you. But it did not stop there, it still continues in My Kingdom, and he is composing his songs with the Lamb in the center of the throne, Jesus. And Jesus told you that Moses wrote about Him, so he was always singing with the One who led them out of Egypt with joyful shouts and singing.

And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:2-4.

It all has to do with where you are focusing your thoughts and what you are permitting yourself to see in your daily life that you are continually mulling over. These thoughts harass you and steal you joy and your deliverance, so why are you putting up with them?

All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15.

What does that mean? What you are thinking and how you are seeing the things around you determines your joy.

You can see your life as drudgery or as a great adventure.

You can see your life as misery or as a challenge for possession of My promises.

You can see your life as wandering or as a journey to perfection where every trial becomes another means of strengthening your faith.

You can see yourself as pitiful and weep all day as you whine to your friends, or as powerful in Me as you take up My full armor to take the victory over the devil, the accuser of the brethren, the liar and father of lies.

You can see your life as captivity or as service to others in love, for which you are gaining a great reward. The greatest one among you is the one who serves the rest. Like Jesus.

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Matthew 5:41.

Paul learned the secret of being content and filled with joy in any circumstance. He cast all his care on Me in prayer and petition with thanksgiving for the answer before he saw it manifest and walked in peace because he knew Me in whom he had believed, that I was his deliverer. And he thereafter did not let his mind keep bringing up to him the worry or abuse he had suffered, or even his past sins, but instead disciplined his thoughts to be of truth, beauty, and excellent things from My Word and from the unfathomable riches of Christ and he entered into a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know his calling, the hope to which he was called, and the power of the resurrection working in him to do far more than he could ask or imagine. He went deeper and deeper in the revelation of My love for him as manifested in Christ Jesus. And that gave him the joy no man could take from him or contradict.

And where did this lead him? To revelation, deliverance, and strength imparted in worship—welling up with songs of joyful praise. And this entrance into worship, at the midnight hour, as Paul and Silas lay chained in the jail at Philippi made the chains fall off and all the gates swing wide open as all in the prison heard their hymns, prayers and songs of joyful praise.

Paul had many troubles, persecutions, and opposition in his ministry but I delivered him out of them all, as he wrote to Timothy. And his conclusion? Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give constant thanks. And this is My will for you who are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because it is the way to change the valley of trouble into the valley of blessings. Just as Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah did by marching out to the overpowering enemy singing praise songs of joyful thanksgiving for My goodness and everlasting love. And not one of their enemies escaped that bomb of praise. No weapon formed against you will prosper, you shall put it down every time.

Live in hope, it is your anchor behind the veil, and it turns you valley of trouble into a door of hope that leads out to blessing. Just sing there as the Israelites did when they first came of out Egypt, praise for past victories and assurance of future ones according to My magnificent promises which are all “yes” to you in Christ Jesus your Lord.

Do not have fear that you will fall behind and be left incomplete at My coming, I am well able to complete the good work I have begun in you, just lean on Me for help. But you must not let your thoughts keep mulling on the things that are stopping you from going forward in your walk with Me and stealing your joy.

In your wilderness learn to be a worshipper. Two of the most astounding miracles in the Bible came from songs of worship. 2 Chronicles 20; Acts 16:22-34. One facing certain destruction by three enemy armies coming against Jerusalem that way outnumbered them and the other is Paul and Silas locked in the jail at Philippi.

But before the deliverance came, in both those situations the began in worship before the victory, not just after, and they received the answers that guided them through when they put their eyes on Me and off the problem in worship. They stopped mulling the problem in their minds and instead put their eyes on Me and let Me show them the answer. And they did this through prayer and worship. Why? That takes you to the level of the spirit and your eyes off the flesh. And you have to do this to get out of the downward spiral of your troublesome thoughts.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. Psalm 94:19.

When Satan tried to make Jesus bow in worship before him to obtain the world without the cross, Jesus merely answered that you shall worship Me alone and no other and dismissed Satan.

That is what you too must do with your hateful thoughts for they are from him. He is hate but you are in Christ Jesus are again in the images of Love.

Worship no other than Me, for I alone have your best interests at heart, am good, and will handle all with love and mercy. I alone know all, see all and know what you need to have for the abundant life of peace that brings the true increase that is not subject to defeat, retreat, remorse, shame and decay—the beauty of an indestructible life.

I have made Jesus the resurrection and the life and no one who believes in Him will ever die the death that leaves no hope. You have passed from death to life in him. Absent from the body you are

Bright eyes gladden the heart and good news makes your bones strong and healthy. Proverbs 15:30. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a depressed spirit dries up your bones. Proverbs 17:22. You choose where you want to put your mind.

But what are bright eyes? The word in the Hebrew in which that Proverb was originally written is maor (מאור) which means a light, luminary, or lamp. Remember what Jesus explained to you?

The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” Luke 11:34-36.

I love you. Watch your thoughts. Your joy is not dependent on your circumstances, your circumstances are dependent on your joy. And the level of your joy as well. Worship more than a few minutes once a week, make it your daily diet. Manna from Heaven.