The Joy of the Lord

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV

The fullness of joy is found in one place only… In His presence!”  How awesome is that? Joy is not earned, nor is it manufactured or purchased. When you choose Jesus, joy chooses you!  In fact, Joy is a gift of the Spirit,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22 KJV)

Mama, we were created to be fruit-bearing Christians, and will be ‘known’ by the fruit we produce.  JOY becomes a byproduct that flourishes in our lives when we spend time with Jesus!  I also believe the Father gives us joy to lift us above our earthly circumstances.  Here’s a story of how I received supernatural joy that I will never forget:

When I was in my 20’s, I had been living for myself and felt empty and ashamed by making bad choices. I was still a believer but I had one foot in the world and one foot in the church.  One day as I was driving, I was listening to a Christian radio program talk about the horrific treatment persecuted Christians were enduring. I was so deeply affected by those who were beaten for reading their Bibles that I had to pull over to weep for their mistreatment. You see, I had grown up in a Christian household and had at least three Bibles in my possession with access to even more in my parent’s home. I was ashamed of my lack of appreciation for God’s Word and overwhelmed by the bold faith of these Christians- I wanted the same passion they had!  It was then, at that broken moment, that God convicted my heart and I turned my life around to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. Not only did I give financially to print Bibles in Mandarin but I also heeded the call to go and to deliver them to my Chinese brothers and sisters! It was on this mission trip to China, halfway around the world, that I experienced joy like none other. It wasn’t the happy emotional kind of joy or even the joy of knowing Christ as Savior but a supernatural joy!

We had been traveling for 33 hours on an overnight train ride. Several of us started to pass out Mandarin tracts among the Chinese passengers and in our limited understanding of the language shared compassionately the salvation message.  Even though we were furtive in our evangelism, train officials angrily confronted us. They started yelling at us in Chinese, and I remember being instantly filled with fear. My missionary friend calmly told me “to look to the heavens like Stephen did.” I turned to him in shock and said, “Stephen, the martyr?” I turned to look out the window and saw a little girl sitting on a donkey waving wildly at the train. Suddenly an uncanny boldness filled me. Both of us were immediately hit with unspeakable joy! We were so filled with the joy of the Lord that we started laughing. My fear was gone, and I couldn’t control my giddiness. The officials took us into an interrogation room and demanded our passports. Instead of fear or worry, we sat praying and praising the Lord for being in control and for protecting us. The officials only grew more irate and threatened to deport us. We were very considerate and promised not to pass out anymore “books.” Then the unbelievable happened! The frustrated officials realized they couldn’t intimidate us and simply gave up and handed back our passports and told us we could go! We went back to our team who had been praying fervently for us and rejoiced in God’s favor. Hallelujah!  

I realized that day, the Holy Spirit can work in and through ANY Christian who believes. That Joy is not a natural response to life; it is a supernatural one!  It is a tangible gift of the Holy Spirit, that we should embrace instead of fear. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church on the day of Pentecost. The same Spirit is AVAILABLE to you sister!  He gives us the power to preach boldly, heal the sick, and even raise the dead! Be daring Mama. Invite the Holy Spirit to empower you with the manifestation of joy!  

 

Blessings and love,

Rae-Ellen Sanders & The Help Club For Moms Team

Rae-Ellen Sanders
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5 Comments on “The Joy of the Lord”

  1. Wow! Your story is incredible! Thank you so much for being honest about finding joy. This was exactly what I needed to hear today!

  2. I love your heart so much Rae-Ellen! And I wish I knew your mama better. I know her faithful influence for teaching you and your twin brother about Jesus caused you to love Him like you do! And I love how you and Brian are passing on your faith so faithfully to your kids too!! I can’t wait to see how God uses them too!

  3. I love this study! It captures the heart of the Lord and your beautiful heart Rae-Ellen. This picture too, oh how He loves all of His people!

  4. I loved this! The deliverance you experienced from the very irate officials in China, and the joy you felt and experienced in spite of their interrogation was such a miracle! I am so thankful for your obedience to serve God! Thanks for the beautiful testimony!

  5. What a wonderful testimony Rae Ellen, I hadn’t heard this story before! Amen amen, love everything you wrote!!

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