Joy: A Powerful Spiritual Weapon

Beloved of God,

Proverbs 15:15

The Graham Cooke quotes are excerpts from his Soaking Prayer Series Part One entitled:
Becoming the Beloved -Reflection Four- The Importance of Joy.

Question Four: Describe the importance and value of a joyful disposition.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones (Proverbs 17:22)

Bettina Schuller’s breath prayer: “God is present. God is JOY. I am present I rejoice.”

The following are Graham Cooke’s statements on the impact JOY can have on one’s life. They are so great and resonate so deeply in my spirit that I prefer not to paraphrase his ideas, but rather quote him:

God desires His people to be overawed so that all their circumstances can be subdued by majesty. God inhabits anything unfavorable and creates at the same time a powerful sense of astonishment.

The following are some examples of when I was overawed by circumstances:
 1) September 24: I was told that the nodules on my thyroid were benign. I was instructed to begin to take a generic for Synthroid everyday for the next six months in the hopes that in response my thyroid would shrink and the nodules disappear. 
2) September 26 I arrive in Texas to begin my ministry of presence to my sister. We were both at peace as we did the pre-op appointment and prepared to go to the hospital.
3) September 27 the day of surgery-my sister was scheduled to have a double mastectomy at 12:15 PM. For whatever reason, her surgery time was changed to 7:30 AM so she was the first patient on the schedule for that day. What a gift that was!!!!!!
 4) Listen to my devotional from Jesus Calling for September 27 and experience the assurance it provided us as we began the day’s activities:

Relax in My everlasting arms. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My Almighty Presence. When your energy fails you do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to Me and My sufficiency: rejoice in My radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you. Go gently through this day, leaning on Me, and enjoying My Presence. Thank Me for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between us. If you look back on your journey so far, you can see that days of extreme weakness have been some of your most precious times. Memories of these days are richly interwoven with golden strands of My intimate Presence.

Synchronicity present- Our mother’s favorite Psalm is 27. One of the reference scriptures for the Jesus Calling devotional for September 27 was Psalm 27: 13-14

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

The journal my sister had given me for my birthday this year back in May (several months before we received the cancer diagnosis) is entitled:  Stand Firm with the following scripture reference:

I Corinthians 16:13-Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be people of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.  

 I began using this journal on the day of my sister’s surgery September 27. Another Psalm I read on the 27th was Psalm 8:1…..

    O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.

I have been dating scriptures that speak to me and Psalm 8:1 I dated on my mother’s birthday. My mother loved the Texas Blue Bonnets and I felt as if my mother took my sister’s hand as the nurse wrapped my sister’s right hand with blue tape to secure the IV before taking her to surgery. 
5) September 29-the day we bring my sister home from the hospital the scripture that was the reference for the Jesus Callingdevotional on September 27 is repeated in The Word for Today devotional September 29.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

The devotional is entitled: God of the Bottom. I underlined this quote: “No matter how deep the valley you have to walk, God’s Presence is deeper!” My sister’s husband’s sister sent us this quote that enhances this thought……I tear up every time I read it in gratitude for the reminder from this unknown author:

    Dear God,  Calm me that I may walk gently through this valley knowing that on the other side is my miracle that I will step into at Your appointed time. Amen

    I now return to quoting Graham Cooke on the importance of JOY.

God values joy as a way to walk through life. All negative emotions are temporary; joy is everlasting and therefore ever-present. Joy empowers you to overcome. 
The DNA of your life in the spirit is always to fight and win. You overcome when you accept that God’s joy is a powerful weapon in your life. Joy and happiness empower you to overpower every situation. God’s Kingdom is always pleasant, even if in the midst of difficulty. There is a tangible delight always present. Problems are meant to be overpowered by gladness. As God’s Beloved you can always overrule the enemy because exultation increases revelation and revelation exposes every situation to the will and power of your God. You can overhaul every difficulty and turn it into a blessing, a freedom, a grace and a benediction. As the Beloved of God, you look to God first, not the problem. The problem cannot occur without a promise and a provision also being present. Let joy overturn everything that is against you. Our role in the Kingdom of God is to oversee God’s pleasure in the world. Enjoy God even as He enjoys you!

I have experienced joy the past few days in the midst of surgery to remove the presence of cancer in my sister. I have witnessed an outpouring of love and support from her family, friends and the Body of Christ. I have been blessed by calls, food, prayers, and the loving presence of many that express abundant support and serve to remind me we are not alone in our struggles. Choosing to see the positive rather than focus on the negative empowers a physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation in my mind. This is the way I want to choose to experience the rest of my days on earth. My dad modeled this way of life and it remained a mystery to me during his lifetime. However, at age 58, I believe he would be happy to know…..I GOT IT……

John Stetzer