God Commands Joy!
Celebrating joyously in God’s promises and in His goodness is a secret to our strength (which includes laughing at the lies of the devil).
Scripture Reading: Psalms 2:2-4 (Also Nehemiah 8:10; Proverbs 15:13; 17:22, Philippians 4:4)
From the beginning of God’s miraculous involvement in the life of His people, there was always an element of celebration. The Passover, the crossing of the Red Sea, the annual feasts and other events involved festivity, rejoicing, even dancing. God through Moses prescribed these regular times of celebration in their annual calendar. At a later time, after years of sin and bondage, the people begin to weep under conviction when God’s law was read and explained to them. Their spiritual leaders stopped them and told them to celebrate instead, “because the joy of the Lord was their strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Though there are appropriate times to repent, even weep, at our awareness of sin; the most part our lives should be characterized by rejoicing (e.g. Of the seven primary feasts of Israel, only one was somber– the Day of Atonement). Just think… GOD COMMANDS JOY!
Paul tells the Romans that one of the key descriptions of the Kingdom of God is “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17)! Joy, even laughter, ought to be a regular element of church worship. He told both the Thessalonians (5:17) and the Philippians (4:4) that they were to rejoice, not just when they felt like it, but ALWAYS! Trials and struggles are not exempt from this command. Why? Because the God who is in control is laughing from heaven at Satan and all his agents opposed to His plan. When we face opposition, struggle, even lies from Satan, we should purpose to look at them from God’s perspective. If we do so, we too will laugh. We can’t help ourselves! The very idea that God’s promises won’t come true should strike us as absurd. If we are not laughing, it may be possible that we’ve failed to gain this heavenly perspective!
A lifestyle of laughter and celebration is an evidence of the Spirit’s fullness in us. It actually has medicinal qualities to our physical bodies– the primary antidote to the effects of a broken spirit (Proverbs 15:13; 17:22). Joy actually provides strength to us (Nehemiah 8:10). We can assume that when we are not celebrating or rejoicing in God’s goodness and promises, we are prone to weakness– physically, emotionally and spiritually. Permission is granted for you to enjoy life; to expect to find pleasure in God; to look for opportunities to laugh– even at Satan and his lies… and especially in church!
- On a scale of 1-10 (10 being a lot) what number would you use to rate how much of your life is characterized by true joy and celebration?
- Do you think you would be receptive or offended in a service where spontaneous laughter began to break out?
- Have you ever laughed out loud at Satan’s attempt to lie to you or disrupt you?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I am a part of a big, joyful party called “the Kingdom of God.” Because there is joy and celebration in heaven, I have the nature of joy and celebration inside of me through the Holy Spirit. My genuine, uncontrived joy makes me attractive to my world– stirring their hunger for what I have. I uproariously laugh when I hear a lie from the devil. The joy of the Lord is my strength!