Summary: God provides for us the blessing of His promises for difficult times and difficult situations in our lives. We need only "lean on His Word" and "trust Him,..even when we can’t trace Him".....

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Chapters 40-66 of Isaiah were probably written just before the Persians seized Babylon in 539 BCE and allowed the Israelite leaders from Jerusalem, who had been exiled to Babylon by the Babylonian conquerors, to return home. Isaiah was writing to encourage his exiled countrymen, and so "the year of the Lord’s favor" and the release of captives held in bondage meant for many Israelites the end of their exile and captivity and, at last, a return to Jerusalem.

II. The Oil of Joy for mourning.

To anoint means to rub or smear with oil, therefore,the act of anointing can be by either rubbing or smearing. Oil in the Bible is the physical representation of a spiritual reality. Hebrews 9:23-24 refers to such things as a type or "copy” of true things in the heavenlies. Anointing oil represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit or God’s anointing and it can be used for: (some examples)

 Consecration – Anoint and pray setting people, children, homes, offices, etc. apart for God’s purpose. In Exodus 30:25-29 and Exodus 40:9, Moses is commanded by God to anoint the tabernacle and it’s furnishing "that they may be most holy." We are the tabernacle, the holy temple of God. Anoint and pray, asking God to make us "holy"

 Impartation – Anoint and pray asking the power of God to come into your heart or the heart of a loved one. As when Samuel anointed David as king in 1 Samuel 16:13 imparting the power of the Holy Spirit The Bible says “the Spirit of the Lord was upon David from time forward."

 Emancipation – Anoint and pray calling upon the Lord to set you free, Isaiah 10:27 tells us that the yoke, a symbol of the bondage and oppression of our enemies, will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

 Preparation – Anoint and pray to prepare yourself and others for God’s purpose. In Matt 26:6-12 a woman pours a fragrant oil upon Jesus’ head as preparation for his death and burial.

In addition, anointing oil is used as a sign of joy (Isaiah 61:3, Hebrews 1:9,) and is to be used for joy when mourning has ended (1 Samuel 12:20-23) for readiness (Matthew 5:7-13), physical healing (Mark 6:13, James 5:14-15), adoration (Luke 7:16-30), to honor a guest (Luke 7:38,46), when preparing to meet the king (Ruth 3:3), for cleansing (Leviticus14: 15-18, Ezekiel 16:9), for burial Mark 14:8), medicine for wounds (Luke 10:34), for disease Jeremiah 8:22). To abstain from anointing with Oil is a symbol of mourning (2 Samuel 14:2). JOAB AND TEKOA……pretend to be a mourner….

Moses was commanded by God in Exodus 30:22-25 to use specific spices to make the anointing oil for the tabernacle. In a similar manner today, specific spices (Exodus 35:8), directed by God, are added to olive oil for specific purposes.

For us as Christians, the oil of joy is the Holy Ghost!

Like a well of living water

Joy unspeakable and full of glory

Even in hard times we can experience this JOY! You cannot beat a joyful believer. The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). If Satan were able to strip you of every earthly possession, every material blessing, you would still have the victory because you have the joy of the Lord inside you and that joy will give you strength. Best part of all, if your joy can’t be stolen, he can’t keep what he has stolen. He’s got to give it all back and then some! If Satan can’t steal your joy, he can’t keep your goods. So don’t fret over material things..or over circumstances....remember: GOD IS IN CONTROL! And God keeps His promises!!!

III. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!

Do your circumstances have a way of affecting your praise? The spirit of heaviness has a way of stealing your JOY. And without joy we have a fleshlike tendency to move into self pity. Which is exactly where the enemy wants a child of God! Satan desires us to be caught up in the valley of self pity! He wants us feel sorry for ourselves. He wants us to feel alone, deserted and depressed. But don’t let him lead you down that pathway. But whenever we find outselves heading for the valley of self pity and hopelesness, we must employ the validity of the Word in our lives!For the Bible says:Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. How God does it is not up to a matter of fact..the Battle is not even ours...but the victory is, thru our Lord and Savior!

Jesus said, “Your joy, no man taketh from you” (John 16:22). If no man can take it, then neither can the devil-unless we allow it. Instead of giving up when Satan tries to spoil our goods and steal from us, we need to give voice to JOY. Instead of focusing on the contemporary circumstances, turn your eyes to the hills from whence cometh your help! Count your Blessings! That ought to make most of us shout! I dare you to take a spreadsheet and start counting your blessings! You’d be shouting and praising God for all his deliverances in the past, and encouraged in this present time for God to ’break the yoke’ of the enemy as he anoints you with the oil of joy as you put on the garment of praise! Now remember.....You can’t praise God and be discouraged at the same time. (no man can have 2 masters). You can’t offer joy-the sacrifice of joy, the sacrifice of praise, the sacrifice of thanksgiving-and be discouraged at the same time. You may be discouraged; but once you begin to offer a sacrifice of joy, it won’t be a sacrifice anymore. Then it becomes an act of your will. Will you praise spite of? I want to challenge you this day, to literally cloth yourselves in PRAISE. PUT IT ON...THE GARMENT OF PRAISE! Just like you and I put out our clothes at night or in the morning, making the decision what to wear, I wonder what life would be like if every morning we decided what to put on the Garment of Praise??? I would like to challenge you today to praise spite of...your circumstances! The decision is yours...

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