Personal Growth

(Unsplash/Matheus Ferrero)

Moscow at the beginning of the New Year is stunningly beautiful even in the harshness of bone chilling winter. Moscow is a massive city and the traffic is horrific. Add to that the severity of winter, and you have a recipe for depression. But not at Word of Life!

Thousands of people come from all over the city to each of their 19 campuses every weekend. The joy on their faces is beautiful, effervescent and creatively contagious.

This weekend, I spoke for Pastor Mats-Ola at Word of Life in Moscow. It was a delight ministering to believers who obviously are walking in victory and their lives filled with joy.

The message of Jesus and His joy are inseparable!

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Jesus and His joy should be obvious in every leader's life and ministry.

I love the phrase, "Believers should laugh loud, laugh hard and laugh often." I believe this with all my heart, but please know that joy is not only laughter but also much, much more. Joy is a clean heart, a right spirit and the daily abiding presence of Holy Spirit.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You" (Ps. 51:10-13).

God wants to begin 2018 by restoring your joy.

Here are six keys to your joy being restored:

  1.  Repentance

Repentance gives access to God's righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  1. Forgiveness

Ask forgiveness of God, learn to constantly forgive others, receive God's abundant forgiveness in your own life.

  1. Weeping

"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Ps. 126:5).

  1. Keeping His commandments

"Love the Lord your God" (Matt. 22:37).

  1. Giving

"God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7b).

  1. Soul-winning

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30).

This year, start off by letting God restore your joy.

I pray you have a wonderful 2018!

I encourage you to read and meditate on this extravagant hymn of praise:

And in that day you shall say: O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away, and You comforted me. Certainly God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation. In that day you shall say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His deeds among the peoples, make them remember that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; let this be known in all the earth. Cry out and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion. For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst (Isa 12:1-6).

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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