Boris Grisenko: Joy in the Lord is the key to victory

There is a big and severe mistake in wartime: to consider that this is not a time for joy and merriment, because the Bible says that it is joy in the Lord that is our special strength. And in another place it is said that joy is our strength in the Lord. When we receive joy from the Lord, it brings new strength in the most incredible situations. It gives strength to rejoice when there are no joyful circumstances around. The joy that comes from the Lord lifts our spirit so much that our inner joy opens up and overflows in outer joy. And this fun spreads and infects those who were sad,  dejected and who did not feel this joy and thought that they did not even have the right to experience it.

And who, if not the Jewish New Testament mishpukha (family) should become the center of this joy, which comes from above and spreads over the earth, especially here, over the land of Ukraine, and overflows into different countries? Who but the children of God, who, regardless of age, become five years old when they begin to glorify our King, Father, Lord, Savior and Conqueror, should set an example of this incredible amazing joy?

Why did Yeshua say that if you do not become like children, you will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Because the Kingdom of Heaven does not include the gloomy, dejected, depressed. Those ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven for whom joy in the Lord is an uplifting force. The elevator that lifts us to the throne of the King of Kings does not work without the joy of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). So Yeshua said, “Look, children don’t need special reasons to be happy. They can rejoice just like that, because dad is next to them, mom hugs them, because the sun is shining, because the flowers are blooming and fragrant.

And the stern disciple said: “No, push children aside! They are not serious enough. Don’t interfere with the teacher. Let the Master concentrate.” And He told them: “Don’t you guys understand the principle of the Kingdom at all? Step aside. On the contrary, children step in the center.” And began to hug and bless them.

Joy in the Lord is the key to victory. Therefore, the Bible is full of various descriptions of joy. And, unfortunately, many words are hidden in the synodal translation, especially Hebrew words that mean “shout in joy”, “shout for joy”, “shout to bring joy”. The original Hebrew Bible has different words for joy with different connotations.

The Jewish people knew from ancient times that joy if it does not turn into fun, it shrinks, is suppressed and gradually disappears. The Jewish people knew that joy, as well as the love of God, must be shared with others. How are you going to share it if no one sees it? Therefore, friends, the great prophecy about the Messiah, which the Messiah Himself read in His hometown, has an amazing continuation.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, for the Lord hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and to the captives the opening of prison, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

We know (see Luke 4:18-19) that Yeshua stopped there and did not even read “and the day of vengeance of our God…” But we know the next words:

“… Comfort all those who mourn, proclaim to those who mourn in Zion that instead of ashes they will be given beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;” – and then “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” ( Isaiah 61:2-3).

That’s when it happens – when the heirs of God, joint heirs of Yeshua, change mourning clothes for clothes of God’s glory, when they allow their own Father to take away this anguish-sorrow and fill them with joy and merriment, when instead of crying they are filled with the oil of joy, which anoints all their wounds and removes embarrassment, old shame, memories of defeat, fear of the future – then comes the fire of God’s joy. And they begin to have fun, dance to the glory of the Lord, sing and shout.

And then the Lord reveals those gifts, that power and that might that He put into them, but which during this sadness, despondency and mourning state could not be revealed and expressed. And through this joy, through the sometimes explosive upsurge of God’s mirth, they begin to “build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations….” (See Isaiah 61:4).

How relevant this is now for Ukraine! This is what is needed now, until the war is over. But everything must begin from the Spirit of God into our spirit, and from our spirit it must capture our souls and transform our bodies. Because joy frees from bitterness. The joy of enjoying God’s presence, God’s love and intimacy with Him. The joy of knowing that He never left us. Even when we thought we were alone and abandoned, He was there and called to us. And now that we have accepted this and the joy of the Lord reveals to us a clear understanding of His word, He can now work in full power and authority not only in our lives, but also through us, spreading His glory, freedom and triumph.

Boris Grisenko, rabbi of KEMO