Today's devotion is from Isaiah 55:12
“You shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
THE WAY THAT YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING ACCORDING TO THE KINGDOM IS THAT YOU HAVE PEACE AND JOY!
Not natural peace and joy, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost…
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)
Everything that the Holy Spirit leads you into will always be accompanied by JOY and PEACE in the Holy Ghost, regardless of circumstances.
The Apostle Paul walked in joy and peace, and yet he was one of the most persecuted men that has ever lived.
2 Corinthians 11:24-33 describes some of the things he had to endure…
“I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:24-33 (MSG)
In spite of his very tough life, listen to what he says in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” The New Living Translation says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
Joy and peace in the Holy Ghost are two sides of the same coin.
Both transcend hardship and both joy and peace come with an overcoming, strengthening, exhilarating, yet soothing anointing.
In his letter to the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul is probably dictating his letter to another prison guard he has just led to the Lord, and He is writing to the pastor in Philippi, an X prison guard that also he led to the Lord.
In the natural, Paul was dying...
He probably had to endure scourging, and several harsh beatings, he probably had open sours on his body that had gone septic. He may have had broken bones and he was in a dingy, stinking prison covered with human waste. The prisons in those days were horrendous.
In chapter one he writes, “Now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh [and not die] is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith - Philippians 1:20-25
On the verge of death, Paul holds on for the sake of finishing his race. He has no doubt spent countless hours meditating on the Prophet Isaiah’s words, “You shall go out with JOY and be led forth with PEACE.” So he looks the prison guard in the eye and says lovingly… “Write this down, ‘rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!’”