Day 16 Joy like a river
I love the lyrics to a song by Steffany Gretzinger of Bethel Music
“This joy is not circumstantial
This joy is super natural
This joy would be our strength
Through the darkest of our days
It can stand the test of time
For every soon, through every season,
Through the laughter and the weeping
It is for every season
This joy will be our strength
We can dance while tears stream down our faces
Cos you are alive in us
Your joy is alive in us
From head to toe
So that we know
I’ve got the joy joy joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay
I’m so happy and sovery happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my hearts”
—Steffany Gretzinger of Bethel Music
Last year God took me on a journey of joy. Towards the end of the second quarter/beginning of the third quarter I had this lack of joy that I could not understand. I couldn’t shake it off. I would just be sad for no apparent reason. I couldn’t understand this feeling because I know I had gone through a wilderness period for the past few years but now that I was out of the wilderness period and I expected that I would be happy and cheerful but I wasn’t. Now that I could see the light in the tunnel, I’m fulfilling my dreams and there are so many exciting things to look forward to, I still had this lack of joy. The smallest things that shouldn’t really affect me. By God coincidence a few days before I started feeling this way, a friend of mine sent me message at around 5 am saying “may joy fill your spirit”. At the point I didn’t understand it but God was speaking through my friend.
God began to teach me that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is a function of happenings while joy is different. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. This is a choice and not a function of the environment. Jesus promises us joy and not happiness. Hmm… so the reason why I wasn’t sad during my wilderness period was because I had the joy of the Lord in me.
So anyway, as you may already know the Father speaks to me in analogies. So I asked him for the analogy of Joy and He told me “Oasis”.
So I always thought an oasis was water in a desert but boy was I wrong. I spent a lot of time researching oases and also watched videos of the Sahara desert.
“An oasis is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source, such as a pond or small lake. Oases also provide habitat for animals and even humans if the area is big enough. The location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas; caravans must travel via oases so that supplies of water and food can be replenished. Thus, political or military control of an oasis has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular route.” – Wikipedia
So in simple terms an oasis is not the water in the desert but the fertile land in the desert.
An oasis is usually in a desert where it is dry and full of sand. How is it that despite this sea of sand, there is a fertile area? It is because it is located next to a spring or well source. This spring or well source is a supernatural occurrence. In a sea of sand, a spring of water should not be there.
Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. – John 4:14
In the same way the Father was telling me that joy is like the oasis in the fertile ground despite the seas of sand. The well spring that the oasis is connected to is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the wellspring of life. He is the living water. Water represents the Holy Spirit. An oasis is fertile ground because it is connected to a well spring despite the harsh environment all around it. In the same way, we are to have joy despite our environment, happenings or surrounding because we are connected to Jesus, who is regarded as ‘The Wellspring of life”.
Another amazing thing that I found out is that according to Wikipedia, the most important plant in an oasis is the date palm, which forms the upper layer.
Another publication says a group of palm trees forms oasis.
The theme for the 2016 Do It Afraid Conference, that I hosted was “a flourishing palm tree and its process”. I did extensive research on the coconut palm tree which was the analogy but I didn’t focus on the date palm tree. The palm tree located at an oasis or that forms an oasis is the Date Palm. Also whenever the Bible talks about a palm tree it focuses on the Date Palm tree.
So what is so special about the Date Palm.
The Bible says in Psalm 92:12 “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.” The message version says “Good people will prosper like the palm tree.”
A palm tree is one of the most fruitful trees. Every single part of the Palm tree is useful. They can also survive the harshest storms. They don’t break but only come out stronger.
How do the date palms flourish?
The only reason why they flourish even in a sea of sand called a desert is because they are connected to a spring. Jesus is the well spring of life. When you drink of him you will never thirst again.
He is the TRUTH. He is the solution. He is everything and everything we need. When you drink of Him you will never thirst again. You will flourish. When we all drink of Him, we would all flourish like the date palms in every area of our life.
The Bible says, we the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. We can only flourish when we are connected to Jesus.
In the same way, we can only have joy when we are connected to Jesus.
The Father’s daughter cannot rely on feelings. The Father’s daughter should not aim to be happy. The Father’s daughter should aim to have joy. If your mood depends on the good things that happen in your life, then what would you do when something bad happens or when you have a bad day? You would be like a yoyo, one day up and one day down. We ought to have joy regardless of what is going on around us. This joy is supernatural and comes as a result of our relationship with Jesus. This joy is not dependent on whether things are working well or not. It is dependent on the joy of the Lord in us.
Life is like the sea of sand i.e. desert. Nothing is certain. Watching the news alone can be so depressing. Also, natural things are not meant to satisfy us or give us lasting happiness. We set goals and feel happy when we smash our goals. But soon after we are hungry again and we set new goals and the circle continues. We buy the latest phone or gadget and soon after a new and improved version would come out and what we have no longer satisfies us. Sometimes we search for this joy or rather happiness in human beings but humans cannot provide us lasting happiness. Like the woman in the Bible in John Chapter 4, we would thirst again and again. No wonder the rate of depression is so high. The vacuum we so desperately try to fill can only be filled by Jesus. It exists because of Him, so He can fill it.
Jesus is the cure for conditions such as depression. This supernatural joy from our Lord Jesus., we can’t create it. It can only come as a result of our Him.
As Steffanny Gretzinger sang “This joy is not circumstantial, this joy is super natural”. May we have the supernatural joy of the LORD.
I. Are you full of joy or are you happy?
II. Do you sometimes feel down when things are not working out well?
III. Do you have joy in you regardless of what is going on around you?
• Spend 60 minutes with the Father today.
• Ask the Father to fill you with His true joy.
• Tell Him to help you focus on Him and not on what is around us.
• Write a letter to Him in your journal. You can start with “Dear Daddy, Dear Father etc.
• Read John chapter 16
• What is God saying to you? (write any thoughts that come to you in your journal)
• What do you say to God? (write this in your journal)
The Father’s Daughter’s thoughts: Do you find yourself constantly going from one social media app to the other checking for comments, likes, followers etc. Do you move from watsapp, Instagram, facebook, twitter almost immediately looking for updates? Do you feel good when you see you have many likes on a picture or when your followership increases or when you get good comments? Do you have the app that shows you who has unfollowed you? Do you get sad when you see your followership had decreased or you get negative comments from your followers? Whatever satisfaction or feeling of euphoria you get from social media is not sustainable. Only Jesus can give you the joy you need.
• Listen to “Laughter” by Steffany Gretzinger
• Listen to “Joy unspeakable (spontaneous)” by Steffany Gretzinger
• Listen to “Come to the River” by Housefires II
• Listen to “Only You Satisfy” by Housefires II
• Listen to “Never run dry” Housefires II
• Listen to “Joy” by Housefires II
Declaration: I have joy unspeakable. Joy fills my spirit. This joy is not circumstantial. It is supernatural. My joy is like a river overflowing its bank