I have to tell you, I would hate to have to endure life in these last days without knowing Jesus, without the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, and without the Church, the Body of Christ. And specifically, my own local church where I belong. Without these things, along with the Word of God at work in me, the twists and turns of life, and because of the complications and challenges that are presented to me continually, I’m certain I would have already caved in a long time ago.
But I haven’t caved in. Though I have faced on many occasions what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles and demonic attacks, I’m still advancing and moving forward. And one of the reasons I have been able to come through trying times and manage all the responsibilities and obligations that come from the ministry and those we all face with day-to-day living, is that I have learned how to receive a special anointing from the Holy Spirit to do it. I have discovered that when it appears that my life is unraveling, when my dreams and plans have turned to ashes, and when the pain and misery of life’s heartbreaks have left me in mourning, that there is a special anointing the Lord will provide me that lifts me above these things and sets me on the victory side.
And that special anointing that I receive from the Holy Spirit is the anointing of joy and gladness that He has reserved specifically for His own people.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 KJV
The Lord has permanently placed before the Church some things we will need in times of mourning, calamity, and various troubles. In the King James Version of the verse above it reads “oil of joy,” and in the New American Standard Updated version it reads “oil of gladness.” So then, the Lord’s plan is for His children to be anointed with the oil of joy and gladness! However, unless you allow the Lord to anoint you continually with this oil of joy and gladness, your life may become little more than a miserable existence when that is as far from the will of God for you as it can be.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 15:15. Let’s read this verse from the Amplified Bible and see if it doesn’t stir you up as much as it does me.
“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” Proverbs 15:15 AMP
When you put on the garment of praise and allow the Lord to anoint you with joy and gladness, your life becomes a celebration, regardless of circumstances.
Our local churches are to be filled with the presence of Almighty God. And in His presence is fulness of joy (see Psalm 16:11). But oddly enough, for decades the church has had a religious idea that crying was acceptable in the church services, but a laugh, a shout, a dance or a run were not. However, the truth of the matter is, the Bible has far more to say about rejoicing than it does about weeping.
In fact, the word rejoice means to experience joy and gladness in a high degree!
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 8:14 KJV
Joy not only comes from being in the presence of God and receiving His anointing of joy and gladness, it was deposited within us when we were born again.
Because the church has for too long been lacking in joy, the world has not wanted any part of us. In fact, many Christians are the most downcast people on the planet. The world thinks that this is the picture of true Christianity. Of course, it is not.
The way I see what the psalmist of old was saying in Psalm 51:12-13 is, “If you’ll restore to me the joy I had when I first got saved, I’ll start getting sinners converted to you.” Until joy is fully restored to the church, and until we allow the Holy Spirit to anoint us with the oil of joy and gladness even during the most difficult times I our lives, we won’t be very effective in reaching the lost.
When the 120 believers were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter two, the joy of the Lord was in obvious manifestation. That is why the people thought they were drunk!
When the church became full of joy, they began to impact those in Jerusalem. Then it continued to spread to other Jews and Gentiles until eventually, the gospel of Jesus Christ was spread throughout the world.
It was this anointing with the oil of joy and gladness that began to capture the attention of the lost and attract them to Jesus. I am personally convinced that this same anointing will not only change the church, it will touch and impact the world.
So though you may be dealing with some genuinely heartbreaking issues in your life right now, why not let the Lord anoint you today with the oil of joy and gladness.