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Throughout the Bible, God instructs His people to be filled with joy and rejoice. For example, Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!"

Anytime the Lord tells us twice to do something—as Paul instructed the Philippians twice in this verse to rejoice—we need to pay careful attention to what He is saying.

The apostle Paul knew the power of rejoicing. Look what happened when he and Silas were in the Philippians jail:
…About midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God…. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened.
(Acts 16:25-26)
The same power that opened the doors and broke the shackles of Paul and Silas and the others imprisoned with them is available to people who are imprisoned and shackled today with depression.

Many times people see or hear the word "rejoice" and think, "That sounds nice, but how do I do that?" They would like to rejoice but don't know how!

Paul and Silas, who had been beaten, thrown into prison and their feet put in stocks, rejoiced by simply singing praises to God. We don't often realize the "rejoicing" that can release so much power can be just as simple as smiling and laughing, having a good time and enjoying ourselves. And doing that in itself often makes the problem go away!

The time I was preparing to speak on depression when the Lord showed me something so clearly it was as if I were watching it on a movie screen.

He said, "People come for all kinds of counseling because they're depressed. People take all kinds of medication because they're depressed. When people start getting depressed, if they would just smile, it would start to go away. Most people really truly do not understand that is how they're going to change their circumstances."

We Need A Fresh Spirit of Joy
Change is often the result of a simple adjustment in how we respond in a given situation. The Lord was saying, "If they would just smile or sing a song to me, it would go away. If they would just laugh a little, depression couldn't stay on them. If they would immediately react this way just as soon as they start getting depressed, depression would leave."

The Scriptures clearly teach this, even though we might not have looked at the teaching on rejoicing in quite this way before!

Joy is simply a fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
(Gal. 5:22-23)
If you have a personal relationship with the Lord—if you are saved—the Holy Spirit dwells within you (John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 12:3). If joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and the Spirit is in you, joy is in you.

Release The Joy That's Already There!
You're not trying to get joy or manufacture it—it is already there, just as are the ability to love and the other fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit is there.

It is very important to understand that we as believers are not to try to get joy; we have joy; joy is in our spirit. What we need to do is simply release it.

Source: Help Me, I'm Depressed! by Joyce Meyer
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Joyce Meyer
Web site: Joyce Meyer Ministries
Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A New York Times bestselling author, her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. Her candid communication style allows her to share openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives.

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