Day 23: Go out with joy

Am I the only one who can have a full night’s sleep and still wake up feeling exhausted?

Seriously, this is one of the most aggravating things I have ever had to deal with.

Last night, I allowed the stress of school work, of class, and of a situation outside of my control to overwhelm my mind. What started as a couple of small things eventually snowballed into one big disaster that led to me literally crying myself to sleep.

And I don’t cry.

But that’s all it takes, isn’t it? The enemy only needs a slight vantage point and he can turn what was a good situation into something negative. He can bring back to life those past struggles when we allow our exhaustion to keep us from fighting back and reclaiming our God-inherited territory.

“For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Isaiah 55:12-13

Although this passage was in direct relation to the liberty of the Israelites from their captivity in Babylon, I believe we can also detect the crimson red thread of redemption woven throughout.

When we are in Jesus Christ and have made the decision to die to ourselves and follow Him, we have the chance to be free.

Free from our sins, free from our bondage, free from our chains, free from our additions, free from our obsessions, free from our worries, free from our sorrow, free from ourselves, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

The grace of Jesus knows no limitations and His power is without end.

As Pastor Malcolm discussed at Heart Church this past Sunday, we can throw our sorrow off. I want to go out into my days with joy, not with the burdens of this temporal life weighing me down.

We have 24/7, 365 access to a Savior who loves us and wants us to walk in His perfect joy. But joy is a choice, and most certainly not the easiest one.

You see, joy means we must have blind faith and hope even when our flesh screams to doubt. Joy means trusting to see the day of the Lord even when the world in which we live in seems to be imploding.

Joy is singing praises to God even when exhaustion and stress strive to mute your lips. Joy is enduring and pushing forward even when our bodies cry in protest and our spirits are in anguish.

Joy is being in constant fellowship with our Father King and the Holy Spirit He has given to dwell within us.

So, today I pray that we reclaim the territory we have either had stolen from us or allowed the enemy to encroach upon. I want us to go out into the day with the spirit of a bold conqueror who serves in the army of the Most High.

Victory isn’t earned by merely showing up at the battlefield. We must arm ourselves with the armor of God and stop playing defense. Go out with joy, charge forward, and reclaim the promises of God!

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