My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials

James 1:2

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View November 2012 Issue >>
 

Another Christmas Season, can you believe it? Joy, laughter, sharing and caring are meant to epitomise the season of Christmas. Is this how you are feeling in the anticipation of Christmas, do you have joy?
Christmas is the season when we celebrate Jesus` birth and entry into our world in human form. It is the beginning of our hope. Luke 2:10, “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord”.

Jesus brings everlasting joy
Joy cannot be conjured up, man-made nor obtained through worldly pleasures. Those attempts will fill your cup temporarily, but everlasting joy is a supernatural provision from Jesus Himself. Hebrew 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”
This verse tells me that it was the power of joy that gave Jesus strength to strip Himself of all Deity and heavenly glory, so that He could restore relationship with us and His Father, which had been broken due to the separation of sin.

Cassia: a recipe for joy
In previous issues two ingredients of the oil of joy have been featured: aloe and myrrh. Cassia is the last ingredient in the specific recipe from the Bible for obtaining joy and overcoming the spirit of heaviness. The root word in Hebrew for cassia is ‘quadad’, which means ‘to bow the head, to bow down, to strip off’. Cassia is harvested by the bark of the cassia tree being stripped away and crushed to a fine powder. This fine powder is distilled into oil.

Cassia encourages me to see myself as Jesus sees me. He allows me to see myself in His own image. I am able to recognise the many masks I camouflage myself with and appreciate and identify His reflection of me to be much more authentic and enduring. My prayer is for you to make a choice to retrieve the unfailing true joy of knowing your own beauty and identity as God created.

God’s means for providing joy
God knows all about your sense of heaviness and the many times you have felt as if a heavy fog is rolling over your joy. He knows about your hopes, dreams and failures, but the good news is that He came to earth, stripped and naked to identify with your pain.
“Who, being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross.” Phil 2:6-8.
The supernatural provision of God’s mantle of joy for you will require a stripping away or surrendering of your lies, false beliefs and all forms of insecurities you have been bound to.

Find your identity in Jesus
Pretending has become normal in our society, especially in our church and religious culture. Being real and vulnerable is foreign to us. Humility is considered a form of weakness, yet to be real takes more courage than living a lie.
I know that my need to be liked and accepted was imprisoning me. I found great difficulty confessing that I was wrong, because it would remind me of my sense of failure, struggling effortlessly to maintain an image I knew was only in my imagination.

Joy is a powerful weapon
Joy is not only an emotion, it is an anointing, and is a powerful weapon intended to fight against the spiritual forces of heaviness and depression. You will never fight depression and heaviness by pretending, substituting, indulging in worldly pleasures, make-over’s or fashion trends. Joy cannot be bought or traded in for a new marriage, relationship or experience. These are short- lived, a waste of money, time and effort! Let’s be real!

An oil of gladness
In Psalm 45:7-8 we read how Jesus has become our joy: ”You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companion. All Your garments are scented with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made you glad”.

The best gift of all
God is incredible, He not only provides you with salvation, He also equips you to live in the joy of the new life you have accepted. What an amazing gift! An anointing is an impartation from God to us, so that we are able to live and perform supernaturally beyond our human strength by His Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 61:3, we read about “the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that we may be called trees of righteousness.”

Be a joy to others this Christmas
A sense of relief overwhelms me as I contemplate the reality of God’s love for me. His joy has to be contagious. What kind of Christian are you? Are your friends and family going to feel joy being with you? Sure they can!

Make a choice to put on the supernatural garment of joy and get rid of your lemon juice attitude! Jesus has come to equip you with a fresh anointing, not of your own doing but by His supernatural impartation of love. 

 

Naomi Sheneberger

Rock Rose Ministries

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