Did you ever wonder how Pastor Chuck Smith could have such joy?
Did you ever wonder how he was able to remain joyous even though he faced trials and tribulations like anyone of us does?
In today's lesson we will reveal the secret of how you too can have such joy from the Lord.
We are going to share with you the secret of having this overflowing joy in your own life.
In fact I know that after reading this lesson you will go away from it having joy begin to overflow your own heart; that is how confident I am of the Word of God and it's power and authority.
God intends for us to be filled with Joy.
And for this to happen, we must believe for it and set our hearts upon it.
We have learned in this walk with the Lord that nothing happens by itself.
We do not come into a walk with God and automatically become filled with joy.
Many things are set before us, and we must believe them and appropriate them, driving forward to possess them in the name of the Lord.
When the restoration from the exile in Babylon was taking place, the priests read from the law and translated it for the people.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God.
Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
We are in the time of great warfare now, and the enemy is trying to wear out the saints of the Most High ( Daniel 7:25 ).
In this battle it is the joy of the Lord that will be our strength.
The overflow of the Spirit is directly related to the joy of the Lord.
Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
Joy is an important part of the restoration.
The further people are from the Lord, the less joyful they are; and the closer they get to the Lord, the more overwhelmed they are with His joy.
In His presence is fullness of joy.
The unhappiness and misery that people have associated with piety is absolutely erroneous; it is pure false doctrine.
Some churches would not consider you to be religious if you did not have a long face.
Reverence to them was not praising the Lord; it was a matter of very great solemnity.
This is a result of the Dark Ages, when people refused to be joyful.
To be religious meant they afflicted themselves, beat themselves with whips, and tortured themselves.
The closer we get to the days of the restoration, the more we come into His presence, the Parousia.
In his presence is fullness of joy- this we shall believe for.
Joel prophesied that joy is withered away from the sons of men ( Joel 1:12 ).
This is typical of the old age and a world system that cannot be happy or joyful anymore.
It is almost a commitment to unhappiness.
A public poll of the popularity of television programs would reveal that we are not entertained by healthy comedy, only by something which is based on sarcasm and inflicted unhappiness or a miserable situation for someone else.
This is natural to the human nature.
We cannot be happy or joyful as long as the human nature is dedicated to misery.
Happiness will not just happen to you someday; you must be dedicated to believe for the joy of the Lord.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22 ).
You are not going to be joyful, able to love, or be filled with His peace until you determine that this is the way you will be.
Will Rogers said, "People are just about as happy as they want to be." ( Attributed originally to Abraham Lincoln).
This is very true.
I have seen many instances when people have become so deeply motivated to be unhappy.
It is a determination to be unhappy, a deep unconscious resolution to be miserable.
There must be a deep unconscious resolution within us to be altogether joyful.
At the Old Testament feasts the command was, "Thou shalt be altogether joyful" ( Deuteronomy 16:11,14 ).
When the law of Moses was read, the people gathered in front of the Watergate to listen.
When they heard the law, they all started mourning and wailing.
The people were told not to mourn, but to rejoice in the Feast, eat of the fat and drink of the sweet, for that day was holy to the Lord: "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
God intends for His joy to come to us, God never intended that fallen human nature should be self-sufficient and happy in itself.
Regardless of what should happen to us.
He intended that our joy should come from Him.
When the Lord came to teach us, this one thing He made very plain.
"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
And in His prayer to the Father, "But now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves."
We must face the fact that there is a joy which the Lord wants us to have.
The Lord has made for us a provision to be very joyful, and we are not going to have that joy until we determine to believe for that joy and receive it.
Before these days of the restoration the gaiety and enthusiasm just natural to the anointing of the Spirit would not have been accepted by an old order church.
The true goals of the Kingdom may not be seen until this restoration has fully come.
The objective is not to hold out to the end, and with a great deal of misery and sufferings, finally make it.
If you still hold the apprehension that these days are going to be terrible, but you will somehow survive, you probably do not realize how you are to walk through them.
Would you like to read a few promises from the Scriptures?
And the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find ( the literal meaning is "overtake") gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
This will be the first time that life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is given to anyone in this world.
Did not the government guarantee us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as our rights and our privileges?
Here is how it will happen in the Kingdom of God: We shall overtake gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion.
I have found many people in this walk with God shouting for joy over their portion yet; the dealings of the Lord have been too deep.
But if we would seek the Lord, we would be able to rejoice in the dealings also.
Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs.
Everlasting joy is what we are pursuing.
Peter said that we are to rejoice with a joy inexpressible and full of glory, something so great that we cannot express it.
This is to be our portion.
This joy will not happen automatically.
People are not going to believe in this walk with God if they come to church and we are moping about something, complaining that we have been hit.
Yet, there has never been a time, even under the most miserable assaults of the enemy, that we could not come together and find an occasion to rejoice in the Lord, ad find His joy present.
Even if we are going through testings, we are to pass through and overcome them.
The Master went through trials and He endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy that was set before Him ( Hebrews 12:2).
We can be joyful about the joy that will come.
This is the optimistic, faith-filled viewpoint that we must have.
There is nothing out there in the world worth rejoicing in.
We are facing complete demoralization of the American people.
Their character is eroding away, and their affluent society is crumbling under their feet.
They live with apprehension, and everything they do is making them more miserable all the time.
Where is the joy?
Where is the rejoicing?
We are going to believe that the Lord will lay His hands upon the remnant.
The only joy will be to those who are crowned.
Everlasting joy will be upon their heads when they come to Zion.
I think this will be the only way to mark the difference between the remnant and the rest of the world.
The rest of the world will never be able to understand our deep joy.
If you are full of grief, carrying a great big burden, I have a formula for you.
First, you will have to be uncorked.
You are full of wrong ideas, wrong conditioning, and wrong thinking, and you are sealing it all inside.
You can feel the bitterness and unhappy conditionings of your thinking seething down there.
People can actually determine to be miserable. The fact that "blues" are a popular style of music is significant of this.
They even enjoy boasting about their calamities.
Some people are almost too arrogant to be happy.
Pride has a way of making a person unhappy.
People worry themselves to death and have heart attacks and other physical disorders as a result, despite the fact that this is supposed to be the affluent society, the bread basket of the world, and the savior of nations.
People tend to bottle up their feelings, then try to present a cheerful image of themselves.
All these frustrations seethe underneath, without ever being expressed, and cause ulcers.
David was a man with the promises of God on his head, yet he spent a good portion of his life as a fugitive living in a cave.
Upon occasion he even acted like an idiot, to keep the Philistines from killing him ( I Samuel 21:12,13 ).
Yet that man was always rejoicing in the Lord, and his heart was set upon God.
He was able to walk with God in this way because first of all, he was uncorked; he expressed himself and got rid of his frustrations.
He sought God.
If revenge was in his heart, he would not sharpen his dagger all day; he would go before the Lord and cry out, "I commit this to You, Lord.You avenge me of my enemies" ( Psalm 59,64 ).
When someone died, he did not offer a somber sort of worship.
He attended a funeral uncorked.
He cried, put ashes on his head, tore his clothes and cried all day at the top of his voice, until he could not cry anymore.
Then he arose and went about his business.
When the Lord filled him with joy and it was time to rejoice, he threw his clothes aside and danced before the Lord with all of his might ( II Samuel 6:12-16 ).
David was an uncorked man.
(A) It is deadly for you to hold under the surface all your hurts.
You may be unhappy because it is all boiling inside.
(B) empty yourself before the Lord. Cry out to Him with all of your heart. One of the purposes of prayer is to empty one's self before the Lord.
The next step is to be filled with the Spirit.
(C) Uncork the old bottle, pour out the bad stuff, and pour in the good stuff until you overflow.
You now have the secret of the inexpressible joy of the Lord that is to be your strength.
David commanded the people to rejoice in the Lord.
I like that sort of determination.
He was saying, "When I rejoice, everyone rejoices!"
If that is in your heart, you will be surprised at the influence you can have on people with that melancholy depression resting upon their spirits.
In these days there will be many times when you do not feel like rejoicing, but remember that joy is not a product of feeling; joy is a product of determined faith.
Determine in your faith tat you will believe God and be filled with joy, and it will be there.
Think of all the things you could enjoy which slip by without your really enjoying them.
If you have a little child, one day you will grieve if you lose these days when you could enjoy him and be happy with him.
But let all who take refuge in Thee be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and mayest Thou shelter them, that those who love Thy name may exult in Thee.
Are you beginning to see the real prophetic picture of Joy?
Do you want to be a part of the greatest time of sorrows since the world began?
Do you want to partake of this time of sorrows, or do you want to be the remnant that will return to Zion with everlasting joy upon their heads?
This is your decision.
Do you realize that it is your own fault that you have not been joyful as you can be?
Are you going to do something about it?
When the heaviness comes to your because God is dealing with something wrong, repent and get the thing taken care of, but do not be morbid about it.
Be filled with His joy and His presence.
The Parousia should be characterized by a very happy, joyful people walking with the Lord.
When they persecute us and say all manner of evil against us, we shall rejoice and be exceedingly glad.
This is possible because the joy of the Lord will be with us to accomplish it.
We are a people who will work and labor for the Lord, but our labors will not be a heavy burden.
His joy is going to be in our hearts.
If it pleases God, we are going to take our honey with a ladle and our vinegar with a teaspoon.
When we walk with a broken heart, with oppressions, or a heaviness, the Lord is the One who brings His joy as a strength and a healing.
When we think that we cannot go on, we really can go on with a blessing from the Lord.
We can well afford to dump some of the old emotions and have that wonderful overflowing of the Holy Spirit.
We must be dedicated to the Lordship of Christ and walking with Him in a perfect balance.
Instead of underestimating the value of experiences that come from God, we need to continually drink from Him and maintain that joyful overflow.
This is a great key of the strength we need to prevail in everything we do.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.