Defiant Joy


I would like to introduce you to joy—the solid, identifying trademark of a Christian who is desperate for God's presence and His power. Joy will take you through every storm, through every disappointment, through every marital spat, through every unpaid bill and through every lonely night. Joy will lift you above your unmet expectations and will give you purpose and meaning through the humdrum days of life!

The joy I speak of is not found in the sweetness of a Hallmark card, the fragrance of a bouquet of springtime flowers or the plasticity of a pasted-on smile. I'm referring to defiant joy—a tenacious, steadfast joy that will literally enable you to defy your circumstances or to stubbornly refuse the "hand that you have been dealt." I want to help you find that kind of defiant joy and learn how to embrace and keep that joy.

I dare you to choose joy and the power it will bring into your life.

I would like to warn you, however, that this is not an easy way to live. This defiantly joyful lifestyle is going to take gut-wrenching determination and relentless discipline. This way to do life is not for the weak, the weary or the insipid! Wait a minute! What am I talking about? Of course it is for you—it is especially for you! It is for all of us!

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The sad reality is that only a few of you will choose this way of living. Only a few will choose joy over depression and victory over defeat. Only a handful of believers will have the tenacity to tie themselves to triumph rather than tragedy or trauma. My desire is that you will be one who says yes to a life of defiant joy!

There are at least 150 Scriptures in the Bible that contain the word "joy"! Isn't that amazing? The gift of "joy" is a theme of unmet precedence in the Word of God.

"Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isa. 12:3, ASV).

Isaiah tells us that we are to joyfully draw water from the wells of salvation. Jesus has a well with your name on it, and it belongs to you and to no one else. This well in the yard of your life is a deep and healthy well that will never run dry. It is way, way down in the deepest part of this well that the secret to defiant joy is found. Most Christians are not willing to dig deeply enough to reach the miraculous spot where His joy is just waiting for them! However, there is a "catch" concerning this well, and the catch is this: You have to be willing to pay the price for the water of joy.

If you are not reading your Bible every single day of your life, joy will be that illusive butterfly that flits in and out of your world. If you are not on your face before the Lord every day, then you will never experience the joy that is pervasive enough to take you through rebellious children, cancer and bankruptcy. This "on your face" kind of commitment has nothing to do with whether you are Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian or Presbyterian. It just means that you are willing to join Abraham, Moses, Jehosophat, David, Daniel, the three boys in the fiery furnace, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth, Paul and many others in their desperation to have enough of His presence to make a down payment on joy. It is all really a choice, isn't it?

I am certain of one thing ... I will choose defiant joy! Will you? There is no other way to live! I will bask in His presence and stay at His feet. I will remain addicted to the Word of God, devouring each sweet morsel. I will be a worshipper every day, every season. I will trust and not worry, and I will not allow anyone to hurt my feelings. I will bless those who offend me. I will serve others with my gifts, talents and abilities. I will make the most of every opportunity that I am given. I will choose joy. The question remains yet for you to answer: Are you desperate to do life His way and to choose joy? I dare you to choose defiant joy!

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