Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. —Galatians 6:9
Pure joy is promised to all, but it is only received by those who want God and the offense of the cross more than anything in the world. God is a jealous God; He shares His joy with those who honor Him and embrace the stigma.
Do you want pure joy? How much do you want of it? Here is what I recommend to you if this joy is lacking:
1. Be sure that you have totally forgiven anyone who has hurt you or been unjust to you in any way.
2. Embrace any stigma that is associated with the Spirit so that you are utterly willing to look like a fool to those who know you.
3. Dignify any and every trial God puts in your path.
4. Seek the honor that comes from Him rather than getting your ego massaged by the praise of people.
5. Seek His face by praying with all your heart—until this joy is yours.
This joy is nothing else than God Himself. He wants to be real to you. God wants all His children to experience pure joy, but I am not saying that all must have exactly the same manifestations. I have never fallen to the floor in laughter. You may, or may not, speak in tongues (1 Cor. 12:30). The necessary evidence of the baptism, or sealing of the Spirit, is this peace and joy. In my opinion, we delay what God would do in us because of sheer pride or out of fear of what people might think. You may never speak in tongues or fall to the floor, but you must be willing to allow that to happen if you want pure joy.
Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).