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New Wine On Line Ministries

A message by Oral Roberts.


One of the most glorious experiences of the Church today is the resurgence of the joy of the Lord in thousands and thousands of God's people. Joy times are breaking out everywhere! God is commissioning prophets of jot such as My friend the Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne of South Africa, whom the Lord sent to the United States as a missionary. Rodney came to Oral Roberts University in 1993 to minister, and By the time he finished a chapel service with our 4,500 students, faculty, and staff, joy had burst forth from the Lord like a mighty, rushing stream of water. I've never seen so many people filled with joy! Holy laughter broke out spontaneously from the front to the back of the packed Christ's chapel on the ORU campus. The glory of the Lord shone on Rodney's face as he shared about joy from God's Word and then told of the experiences of men and women in Bible days who dipped into the fountain of the Lord's joy. He demonstrated how the joy of the Lord had both physically and spiritually become his strength. As holy laughter broke out among the students and spread to the faculty and staff, including my wife Evelyn, my son and his wife Richard and Lindsay, and my three little granddaughters, I felt we were being visited by the Lord Jesus Himself, saying, "I want you to have My joy, and I want your joy to be full." JOY TOUCHED MY LIFE I seemed to burst with a joy that filled every fiber of my being, and the uncontainable laughter of Heaven surged forth from me. I could not stand and soon found myself on the floor, wrapped in the joy of my Savior. Can you imagine a joy that's so great you can not speak of it? It just floods your soul; it rushes out! It's "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (I Peter 1:8)! The next day, Rodney laid hands on every one of the thousands present, asking the Lord to "Fill! Fill!" meaning he was believing God to fill every one of us with His joy and for that joy to live in us continually. We could hear Rodney's voice rising and saying, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). We were all in need of strength and greater health of soul, mind, and body. There were so many who wanted to be prayed for that we had to begin lining them up outside on the lawn. As Rodney laid hands on these beautiful young men and women --in the brightens of their youth and ambition for a whole-man education--they let God have His way in their lives, gracefully sinking to the grass outside the chapel. As their lips gave praise to God, their hearts experienced a joy they had never known before. They raised their faces and hands to the Lord of joy, dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ with a profound conviction I've seldom seen. A YOUNG MAN'S JOY EXPERIENCE One young man testified before us all: "I have been at ORU four years, and I am getting ready to graduate, but I have never known the joy of the Lord of the knowledge that Christ is my Savior. I guess I've been a hypocrite. I really stood back and criticized every outpouring of God's Spirit. "Today, I feel joy welling up inside me. Tears flowed, and I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me." As this young student stood there, God baptized him with The Holy Spirit, and he began praising God in tongues. The whole student body began to clap and encourage him, and they took part in the joy of the Lord which had made him strong in the Lord. ORU has not been the same. The students' serious study-- their dedication of "getting their learning but keeping their burning "--has remained with them. The difference is, they now have joy springing up from a deep well, breaking out in classrooms, in the cafeteria, in the dormitories, across the campus, and on the athletic fields --just about everywhere, anytime. My dear son, ORU president Richard Roberts, and his dear wife Lindsay are leading this joy encounter. Like Jesus, they're not intimidated. They hold before the campus such Scriptures as: " A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). " These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full"(John 15:11) " Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:9,10). "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord" (Psalm 150:6) Everywhere Richard ministers, people are responding to the fresh wave of JOY that is bursting forth through his ministry. He hasn't been the same since he had this tremendous encounter with the joy and holy laughter of the Lord. Recently, I received a call from a dear friend who had been our houseguest a few weeks before. She had come with a heavy heart for her family and church, wanting them to catch fire with the Holy Spirit. Now, she was telling Evelyn and I what had happened. "We're having a revival of joy in our church and in our home," she said. "People who have never laughed in the Spirit or felt the joy of the Lord are breaking out in joy like this community has never seen. Our pastor stood up and said, 'Let us receive this joy visitation of the Lord and never let it go.' "Oral and Evelyn," she said, "You told me the time for the joy of the Lord is here, and it's happening!" She began laugh in the Spirit on the phone. We felt it, too, and knew that the joy of the Lord was breaking out everywhere.


The best way I know to define joy is to tell you what it is not. Joy is not happiness. There is a great difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is more dependent on how good external conditions and situations are. But joy springs up from a deep well within our being and engulfs us. Despite our circumstances, joy is the river that flows with the life of God in us. Everyone wants to be happy. For instance, you want something very much, and finally you attain it. Then for a short time at least, you are happy. Happiness in itself depends on having good things happen to you-- people compliment you, you get a good job, you make the sale you want to make, or your health is good. You can't count on happiness all the time, BUT JOY LASTS because joy is of the Lord. It is good to remember that joy is not dependent on people liking you, and it's not related to your economic prosperity. Things will not always go well. You may be sick at times. You may suffer financial loss. People may dislike you. Unfortunate things may come your way. But joy may spring out of sorrow! The Bible says: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Psalm 126:5). Joy is divinely imparted by God. It comes from digging deep into the reservoirs of God's love and grace by reading and hearing His Word, by seeking Him as our Source, and not man. Joy IS strength. A person full of joy is stronger physically than he would be without that joy. With joy flowing in your life, you feel better physically, your outlook on life is better, and your influence over others is far greater. "Rejoice [full of joy, running over] evermore"(I Thessalonians 5:16). That is God's command and our privilege. JOY IS THE POWER TO ENDURE I wonder if we Christians really know what God's joy is. It's spiritual, physical, and mental vigor flowing up from within. It's the power to endure. It means that you can get up in the morning with joy and be on top of the world. I strongly believe that when the joy of the Lord fills your heart, it spills over with health into your mortal flesh. Not only is your soul made strong and your mind alert, but your body becomes strong as well. Despite Jesus' great problems and hard experiences, the vicarious bearing of the sins and afflictions of all humanity, He had this incredible joy continually set before Him every day. His secret was that He continually kindled Himself with the joy of the Lord. We read in the Psalms that when King David lost the joy of the Lord, he became ill in his body. He spoke of suffering from a "loathsome disease" (Psalm 38:7). He said he could not sleep, rest, or eat his food in peace. Does that sound familiar? But David didn't stop there. He refused to accept defeat-- this loathsome disease, the distress of spirit, this loss of joy. He sought God for the answer. His prayer to God still rings across the centuries: "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation" (Psalm 51:12).

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