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You can ask a person, "Are you a Christian?" He may say, "Yes," but then you look at his life and see he is bearing no fruit.
I want to re-emphasize the point that being a born-again Christian does not mean you will be free of trouble. Walking by faith does not mean you will be free of trouble. Jesus told us in John 16:33 that trouble, trials, and tribulation will come.

As long as we are physically in the world, surrounded by the world system, we can expect to be subjected to trouble. But Jesus also said that although trouble will come, it does not have to overcome.

He said: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Now as joint heirs with Christ, we can overcome trouble because Jesus has overcome it. We can also use the fruit of the spirit of peace to "trouble our trouble." But peace is not the only spiritual force Jesus has given us to use against trouble. He tells us what other spiritual force is in His command: But be of good cheer. Another word for cheer is joy.

The Source of Joy
Now, we need to pay particular attention to the context of what Jesus said here. He said, "In the world you shall have tribulation but…. Notice the word "but."

That word introduces a contrast. "In the world," Jesus said, "you will be subjected to trouble, but be of good cheer…." Even in the world where we are going through trouble and tribulation, we are to be of good cheer. In spite of all the trouble we're in, we are to have joy.

If Jesus is saying, "Be of good cheer in the midst of trouble," then that must mean there are benefits to being of good cheer. That must mean I will benefit in some way when I am of good cheer even when I'm in trouble. That must mean I can use good cheer or joy in some way to affect my trouble. That must mean I can trouble my trouble with the force of joy.

"But, Brother Dollar," you may say, "when I'm in trouble, I sure don't feel very joyful. Where is this joy going to come from?" Jesus tells us in John 15: "If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

Joy From the Spoken Word
Jesus goes on to say: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11).

Just as He said "These things I have spoken unto you, that…ye might have peace" (John 16:33), He now says, "These things have I spoken unto you…that your joy might be full." Therefore, joy comes from hearing what Jesus said. Joy comes from the spoken Word.

"I thought peace came from the Word," you say. Yes, you're exactly right. Peace comes from the spoken Word. Love comes from the spoken Word. Longsuffering comes from the spoken Word. The fruit of the Spirit come from the spoken Word. No Word, no peace. No Word, no love. No Word, no joy. No Word, no fruit of the Spirit.

Somebody said, "I want to be like Jesus." No Word, no being like Jesus. Because what is Jesus like? The Word. Somebody says, "I'm a born-again Christian." No Word, no born-again Christian. Period.

Listen to me, child of God, anybody can say he's a born-again Christian, but he won't bear the fruit of his righteousness if he's not getting in the Word of God and the joy that follows.

Known by the Fruit
You can ask a person, "Are you a Christian?" He may say, "Yes," but then you look at his life and see he is bearing no fruit. You may say, "What difference does that make?" But it makes all the difference in the world because the Bible says a tree can be identified by the fruit it bears.

Therefore, when you say you are a Christian, I first want to test that assertion by looking at what kind of fruit is coming off your branch. You can claim to be born again. But if you're going around looking like a whipped dog all the time and moaning and groaning about how much trouble you're in, I have reason to wonder whether you're really born again or not.

Jesus said, "I have spoken these things to you that you might have my joy." Remember, He said in John 14:27, My peace I give unto you…. Now He says He has given us His joy. The words Jesus spoke have given us Jesus' own joy.

Now it's time to take that joy and beat your trouble over the head with it!

Source: How to Trouble Your Trouble by Creflo Dollar
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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