Respond to Challenges with Joy and Grace
Every day we face a seemingly endless stream of challenges, shifting priorities, deadlines, and issues with bosses, employees, peers, and vendors. As a Christian in the marketplace, you must ask yourself, “Am I winning or losing the battle?” The Word tells us that the victory is ours and no weapon formed against us shall prosper. But are you really winning the fight? Are you able to face each challenge with confidence and expectant hope, certain of the outcome? Are you contending for your faith?
Keys to Victory
The key to victory is learning to face our challenges with a spirit of joy as we rely on God’s grace to help us overcome the obstacles. The words joy (joyful, joyous, joyfulness) and grace appear more than 350 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Clearly, God intends for us to have joy in our lives. Jesus did not die for our salvation and give us the Holy Spirit so we could live ill-fated, hopeless lives. Rather, He died for us that we might have eternal life, abundance, peace, and victory in every area of our lives.
Joy and Grace are Spiritual Forces
Webster’s Dictionary defines joy and grace as follows:
1. JOY: an emotion of great delight or state of happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen state of pleasure or elation; rejoicing; festive gaiety; a state of happiness.
2. GRACE: kindness; love; manifestation of favor, goodwill, power and might; mercy and forgiveness.
In the kingdom realm, joy is not an emotional state; it is a spiritual force which elevates us above our circumstances. In his overview on the life of a Christian, James tells us to, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” In the face of trials, we can be joyful knowing that our inner man (spirit man) becomes stronger, more powerful, and more capable as we operate in God’s grace. As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Walking in Joy and Grace
We must grow in our understanding of Jesus’ Gospel of Grace. Let’s examine God’s Word and look at joy and grace:
1. Jesus is the: Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Author and Finisher; our only Source (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:16).
2. We are spirit beings created in God’s image and likeness; we connect with God through His Word and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26; John 6:63).
3. We experience joy in God’s presence (Psa 16:11; Jude 1:24-25); Jesus’ desire is for us to have joy (John 15:11; John 16:24; John 17:13).
4. Joy is a spiritual force (Joshua 6:5; Luke 1:41-44, 10:17; Acts 13:48-49, 52; Galatians 5:22-23).
5. Grace is the free gift of salvation; it is the unmerited favor and anointing of God’s supernatural power that enables us to succeed and prosper (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:22-24; Luke 2:40; 1 Peter 5:8-10; John 1:16).
6. Joy and grace are the source of our power and should be used to overcome tests and trials and perform miracles (Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7; James 1:2-4; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Acts 6:8; 2 Corinthians 9:8).
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus tells us that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ and Jesus proclaims, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Jesus not only gave us His grace and power, He tells us that with His power, nothing is impossible for us.
Are you walking in God’s grace? Do you have joy in the face of trials and tests knowing that His grace will show up and lead you to victory? We want to challenge you and encourage you to:
1. Renew your mind daily in the Word of God and fight the fight of faith with joy and grace.
2. Be courageous and strong; encourage yourself in the Lord, in His Word, and in His grace.
3. Believe His Word and receive the fullness of His joy.
4. Acknowledge the grace of God in your life; realize it is NOT about you, it is about Jesus and what His death accomplished for us on the cross.
5. Refuse to live an ordinary life; walk in His grace and live an extraordinary life.
6. Use your power (the Word of God) and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to speak over situations. Believe the Word.
7. Like Joshua’s men at Jericho, sound the trumpets of joy before the battle and know that victory is yours through God’s grace.
8. Give God praise and thanksgiving at all times; greet every challenge and test with joy and reliance on His grace.
As you get in your car each morning to go to work, we encourage you to carpool with joy and grace. Walk in the door and greet production challenges, customer complaints, employee performance issues, challenging sales quotas, conflicts with peers, and a difficult boss with joy and peace in your heart. Cast all of your cares on Jesus. Lean on Him and trust Him. Have confidence that He will make a way even when you can’t see it. Expect miracles and supernatural, divine intervention. Fight; don’t give up, cave in, or quit! Contend for your faith and fight with joy and grace.