18 Jul Summer Joy Week One
The Kingdom Sound cleared the atmosphere and the presence of the Lord was tangible in the room. We had an encounter with the King of kings. We then had an opportunity to hear from Pastor Carla Stokes and Elder Vicki Lister telling us what to expect from Summer Joy. Did they just give us an almond joy? That was a reminder to us all to have joy. Somebody was eating in the chapel. Should I tell Elder Waddell? Come on church, laugh, it is Summer Joy.
Come with me on a path of transformative life. This path is filled with joy, but I must caution and inform you that on this path there are some turns and twists that cause you to wonder what is going on and if this is really a path of a joy. For we know that the ways and thoughts of the Lord are different from our ways and thoughts. Well, do we really know that? Elder Tony Wilson took us on a path of history that depicted some of the things that Paul endured. Paul had a past that did not reflect the character and nature of God. He was a person who persecuted Christians and did not have a personal relationship with God. He was one person with dual names. His Hebrew name was Saul and his Roman name was Paul. Once Saul had an encounter with God, he started using the name, Paul.
Paul was a man who suffered for the sake of the kingdom of God. He was put in a prison, yet he continued to proclaim the name of the Lord. He had a single mindset that was to think on things that were pure and of good report. He was one who emanated joy in good and bad times. He did not allow circumstances, people, or things to cause him to worry and steal his joy.
Elder Wilson shared how when he was younger that his thoughts were not aligned with the word of God. His thoughts caused him to think of himself less than what God said. If we are truly honest, sometimes, we can find ourselves in circumstances that cause us to see ourselves contrary to what God has spoken over our lives. We can even allow people and things to dominate our thought processes and the next thing you know; we are off course and running after things and/or people. God does not want us to run after things or people, but to run after Him.
We must become more cognizant of the things and situations that will attempt to steal our joy and get us off course. Sometimes, disappointment after disappointment causes one to have a double-mind. The enemy wants to use situations and circumstances such as grief, depression, loss of a job, or divorce to cause the mind to be bound by worry and hopelessness. He wants us to get bogged down in thoughts that will lead us to a path of bondage. But God has already established a plan of freedom and liberty for us all. It is the application of God’s Word that empowers and transforms our lives. I declare that we are transformed from the inside/out!
Elder Wilson has given us tools about how to break the chains and how to be joyful in the midst of trials and tribulations. We must stay focused on God and allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength. Being joyful is a choice and we choose to have joy in suffering, serving, believing, and giving. Our joy is not temporary and fleeting, but it is an inner gaiety that is eternal. This joy is indescribable and comes from the Holy Spirit that resides on the inside of us. We have summer joy! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice for He that has begun a good work will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ!
I declare that we have a perpetual joy that is contagious!
Memory verse: Philippians 1:6
Written by Minister Bawayna Thompson