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Life can be very intense and fast paced. Those who run hard often faint, and those who cannot run are often in despair. Life can be difficult if you are trying to live it on your own. The world is fast paced, and the "survival of the fittest" is the prevailing mentality. But, praise God, you and I don't have to live the way they do! We've been called to walk a different path than the rest of the world.

He's given us a better route. If we'll run the race He's set before us with joy, it'll be much easier to avoid fainting along the way.

Today there are many believers running in the wrong race. Unknowingly they trot along, leaning on their own understanding and standing in their own strength.

Although they want to believe the Bible and trust in God, they always seem to end up relying more on themselves and those around them rather than on Jesus. Consequently, their lives show it. They live pretty defeated and don't have much joy for themselves, much less anyone else.

There are a few different types of people who do this. Some people constantly speak about what the devil's done in their lives. They are always focusing on the problems of life and have a real hard time being cheerful.

Because of so many past defeats, they've become people with no confidence in themselves or in God. They say they'll never do anything, and so they don't. The devil has convinced them that they are useless.

If you are like some of those who have no confidence in themselves, but you want the ministry of cheerfulness to become a reality in your life, there is a way to gain that joy. Renewing your hope in Jesus and renewing your mind through His Word are the keys to gaining confidence in yourself.

Go back and find out what Jesus did for you on the cross and what rights His blood bought for you. Research all that you have been made through Him. It'll stir you up! It will cause you to begin focusing on Him instead of on the circumstances. Your mind has got to come off those problems and on to His promises. Hope needs to be nurtured.

As His Word becomes real to you, hope will come easily and then faith will too. When He is your focus, joy becomes inevitable! Choose to dwell on the fact that Jesus has already overcome!

Offices are not measured by their prominence, but by the fidelity in which they are carried out.
Another type of people who have trouble being cheerful are those who feel as if they never win the prizes in life. The high positions are always given to someone else. Somebody else always gets the job. They begin to complain about it, and self-pity starts to choke their joy.

Consequently, they are discouraged by any job they are given that doesn't seem prominent enough.

If you feel this way, I must tell you that God's offices are not measured by prominence. They are measured by the fidelity in which they are filled. God doesn't overlook anything noble! What you consider small, He considers very important, and He rewards those things that you do with a good heart.

No matter what it is, God wants you to be faithful with what He's placed in your hands. You have a job that you need to do with joy! It is important, and you need to know it! Be faithful, God will reward your diligence!

A veteran is never useless, and spiritual service is not measured by physical strength.
Then there are those who have been running the race for many years. They ran on the right path faithfully and saw God do many extraordinary things through their lives. Joyfully they ran for many, many years.

But time went on, and somewhere along the way they began to slow down. They were fainting, becoming weary in well doing. Eventually the devil convinced them that they were no longer needed. They began thinking of "retiring" instead of "refiring."

A veteran is never useless, and spiritual service is not measured by physical strength. It doesn't matter what your age in the faith, you can be a powerful force for the Gospel.

Did you know that Abraham did his best when he was 100 years old? He considered not his own body and staggered not at the promise of God. It has nothing to do with how much power, intellect or how many qualifications you have.

The only thing that matters is how faithful you are to the call of God. Faith in God will make you an overcomer and enable you to be effective no matter what your age in the faith.

While holding a revival meeting, the pastor invited me to speak at a luncheon for the widows in his church. These elderly women (most of them were in their 80s) were strong women of faith and had lived for God most of their lives. One of the women who sat next to me just sparkled with the fire of the Holy Ghost. I looked at her and said, "You have fire!"

She looked up at me and exclaimed, "I certainly do!"

When I jokingly asked her if she was planning on having another baby, she looked me right in the eye and said, "I'm not 90 yet!" She had learned to daily "refire" the gift of God in her life. The joy of the Lord had been her strength for some time and she wasn't even thinking about retiring in the faith.

Joy is going to be refired through relationship with Jesus. Trust in Him, and you will be free in this life. Free to be an overcomer, full of His joy. Man, it's easy to live smiling when you know God has it all under control! He can handle it all!

You can be an encourager to everyone you meet. When the joy of the Lord dominates you, true encouragement is unconscious. You'll encourage others without even realizing it! Let God flow through you to others. It's our purpose to have fellowship with Jesus and impart life and joy to others. We can be used to change lives! Joy, that holy fire, keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.

Source: The Ministry Of Cheerfulness by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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