Joy in Certain Victory!
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. (I Thessalonians 5:16-19)
Unquenchable, unshakable joy ought to be the defining characteristic of the life of a believer. Jesus IS our joy, and He is unchanging—no matter what our circumstances are.
Through communing with Him constantly in prayer, we receive Him as our joy in our daily moments. Notice how these concepts are connected in the above passage, one after the other: rejoice constantly, pray constantly, give thanks in everything, don’t quench the Spirit . . . because we receive the Spirit of God within us through prayer (communion with God) and we demonstrate it through rejoicing and giving thanks in everything.
The state of prayer is a state of joy. Joy and prayer are inseparably linked…because joy isn’t an emotion or a feeling. It’s a Person, Jesus Christ, and the sure, deep delight and confidence we have in Him. Scripture confirms that God “makes us joyful in [His] house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7). We possess that joy because Jesus has overcome sin, death, evil, and our flesh. He’s won the victory already. And in Him, so have we. Temporary obstacles can’t defeat us. Struggles of life can’t bring us down. We’re already living in the heavenly kingdom . . . and through “praying without ceasing,” we keep ourselves in the awareness of that kingdom and reality despite our earthly challenges.
Today, let’s march out to the battle that is set before us singing, praising, praying, and giving thanks, just as the army of Israel did (I Chronicles 20). The victory IS won, and today, the victory in you is won or lost in the prayer closet. Wrestle with God in prayer until He gives confidence that IT IS DONE . . . then go forth praising Him for that sure victory!
Father, take the blinders off our eyes. Thank You that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of You, and not of us. You have cast out the works of darkness; make it manifest in this physical realm.
And to the enemy, we say, The Lord rebuke you! You are bound. You are defeated. You have no place here. Greater is He that is in us than you, who are in the world. This is not your hour, nor the power of darkness! That happened two thousand years ago at the Cross—and you were defeated by the Light! This is the hour of victory. This is the hour of the increase of the Kingdom of God. This is the hour of the power and holiness of God.
Thank you, Father, for the victory You have already won. We stand in that victory. We claim it, and we speak it. It is done. This is the confidence that we have in You, that if we ask anything according to Your will, You hear us—and we know that if You hear, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have desired of You. Thank you, Father. This is for Your recognition, in Your Son’s name. Amen.