SURPRISED BY JOY

Rom. 15:13 ¶ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I can remember the moment my second conversion experience began and I stepped into the joy of heaven. ‘My second conversion’, you may wonder? That’s what I like to call what happened to me in August of 1994, twenty-one years after I had been born again. By that time I had pastored Victory Fellowship in New Orleans for sixteen years and I was experiencing the backlash of the pressure of ministry. What was that special moment? It was in those Rodney Howard Browne meetings in Rockwall, Texas; in a moment of time it was as if a switch of faith turned on inside of me. I can’t really explain it, but suddenly faith was awakened, and I was introduced to God’s world of joy. It was strangely similar to what happened to me when I was first born again, everything in my life was suddenly alive again. I was bubbling over with unspeakable, supernatural joy. That was how it started in me, but it didn’t stop there. It spread like a fire in our congregation in NOLA. That has been twenty two years ago, that joy is still bubbling up in my soul. Here is how Matthew Henry described this joy in his commentary released in 1729.

“It is vain, and flashy, and transient joy, that is the product of fancy; true substantial joy is the fruit of faith. Believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable, 1 Pet. 1:8. It is owing to the weakness of our faith that we are so much wanting in joy and peace. Only believe; believe the goodness of Christ, the love of Christ, the promises of the covenant, and the joys and glories of heaven; let faith be the substance and evidence of these things, and the result must needs be joy and peace. Observe, It is all joy and peace—all sorts of true joy and peace. When we come to God by prayer we must enlarge our desires; we are not straitened in him, why should we be straitened in ourselves? Ask for all joy; open thy mouth wide, and he will fill it.”
Henry described the difference between earthly joy and heavenly joy; there is really no comparison. If you feel a little depressed or even overwhelmed there is a solution, look to the Lord, I mean really get hold of Him. Just one touch and you too can be swept into the joy of the Lord.

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