We’ve got to learn to rejoice. It would be easier if it said, ‘rejoice sometimes, pray occasionally, give thanks when you feel like it.’ But, it says to rejoice evermore, that means never ending. Pray all the time. Give thanks no matter what the circumstances are.
Heb 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
People have little use for Christianity because they don’t see the joy in us. Our attitudes are grumbling, not joyful. We don’t let the joy of the Lord rise in our hearts.
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. The children loved to play with Jesus, to the point that the disciples tried to shoo them away. Jesus was the happiest of the bunch. If you were to pick Jesus out of that group of guys going around Galilee, look for the happiest one and that would be Him. That’s that Spirit that God puts inside of us. We need to learn to live that way.
That doesn’t mean that things don’t happen. The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
The key is taking your eyes off the temporal and focusing on the eternal. This life will pass away, but the eternal is forever.
Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
Examine yourself and look up. Be encouraged and fix your eyes on eternal things.
Rev 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
In the midst of all the craziness of the devil, we are told to rejoice. Understand your position in Jesus, be seated in heavenly places. Be baptized in Christ and put on Christ. Him in us and us in Him. Seated with Him is a divine position in the Lord.
Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
Don’t be a foolish virgin. In Mat 25, they were all virgins, all had their garments, all were waiting, all heard it when the announcement was made. The only difference was the oil. They all had lamps, but some weren’t burning.
Some people don’t think they need oil, a type of the Holy Ghost. You need the Spirit of the Lord in your life and you need to be full of Him every day. ‘Be ye full of the Spirit.’ That is the source of the joy within us.
In the midst of your situation, don’t look at it as much as you look at Him.
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Prov 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like medicine.”
Pray without ceasing.
Start the day praying. Live in the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit. Overcome the flesh.
Gal 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Learn through the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh. That comes through prayer. Stay connected. Stay in tune. If you do that, the Lord promises to order your steps.
Peter and John were consistent about prayer. They prayed at the hour of prayer. When you get up off your knees, God doesn’t flip the switch off. You need to not flip the switch off. Let something good come through. We need to learn to pray without ceasing. Stay connected and commune with God’s presence. Prayer is constantly and deliberately and repeatedly and persistently done.
Prayer is constantly, deliberately, repeatedly, and persistently done. When that trumpet sounds, it’s for those who are consciously aware of His voice.
Elijah got a little confused. He had just defeated 850 false prophets. Then, he got scared.
In everything, give thanks. God will turn everything around for our benefit. Give thanks. Thanksgiving is once a year, but we need to learn to live a life of thanksgiving. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘Thank you.’ There is a key to being thankful. When you see your brother blessed, you need to be thankful. That’s a key to ‘thanks-living’.
When someone gets a healing, be thankful! When someone gets a blessing, be thankful! The Lord will bless you too! An attitude of thankfulness is one of the greatest keys to the blessings of God in your life.
Learning to be thankful for the blessings on others is a test and an opportunity for self-growth and maturity.
‘This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ Even when it looks bad, in those hard moments, learn to trust the Lord and be thankful. Know that He will work good in every circumstance for my benefit. God causes all things to be turned around for good.
You can’t always see the victory without coming through the battle. If everything always went perfect, we’d just be blobs. Exercise some things and then you’ll see the victory.
Rejoice, pray, and give thanks!
Not only do you enter His presence with thanksgiving, you stay in His presence through thanksgiving. If you can learn this, you will have victory.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Evangelist Monty Showalter.
For the full audio of this sermon (and other great sermons!) click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.