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6 - There's Joy in Trusting Him

Glenn Coon
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Glenn Coon

Founder, ABCs of Prayer Crusades

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Shall we bow our heads in prayer? Dear Lord, make me a nail upon the wall, fastened securely in its place. Then from this thing so common and so small, hang a bright picture of Thy face. And we thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

You recall that in our last study we discussed two special secrets of communication. They are choice (the law of the sovereign will) and humility (the law of the third level down). We found these two secrets, when we conform to them, by the blessing of the Lord, causes the soul with whom we communicate to feel at ease in our presence. If we do not observe choice and humility, he feels restless in our presence. This evening we study two more of the seven secrets of communication, Jesus and joy, and there’s joy in trusting Jesus. And these are two vital secrets of communicating with those for whom we pray.

 

You see, for you and me to merely learn the ABC’s of prayer, to learn how to claim Bible promises for dear ones for whom we are burdened and then not to cooperate with the Lord in communicating with these dear ones for whom we are praying is to cancel out our prayer. We wish you to notice with me this evening from the Holy Bible how the joy in Jesus has a tremendous effect on our lives and on the lives of those with whom we visit or to whom we communicate, and the effect that it has is almost beyond description. We could almost use the word “fantastic,” “fabulous.”

 

First of all, I want you to notice with me friends, the emphasis that the Bible puts on the joy of Jesus. This small Book emphasizes joy 826 times. You know, if the Lord emphasized it once, it would mean that He expected us to learn about it, right? What do you say? Amen? If He emphasized it twice, it would really mean that He really is in earnest. If He emphasized it and repeated it 100 times, you’d say, “My! This must be tremendously important.” But our Lord has emphasized it in this one volume, the Bible, the importance of praising the Lord, of thanking the Lord, of being filled with joy and thanksgiving 826 times. So, what we’re presenting to you, my friends, is no mere theory. The Bible is packed full of it, and the reason why the Lord has emphasized it so many times we want to share with you now.

 

Now, what is the relationship between trusting in Jesus, or the joy of trusting Jesus, what is the relationship of this and prayer? There’s a vital relationship. Notice from the lips of Jesus as recorded in John 16:24. He said, “You may ask and receive, and your joy will be,” what? [Full] So, the joy program is vitally connected with a prayer program. You ask, you receive, and your joy will be full. Think of that.

 

Again, we read in Romans, the fifteenth chapter and the thirteenth verse, there is joy and peace in believing. So, when we take a Bible promise for any problem in life, we ask God to fulfill that promise, we tell Him we believe He’s doing it, and we say, “Lord, I really believe You’re keeping Your word,” there’s joy in believing that God is giving us the solution that He promises. It means we don’t have to go into the negative. We don’t have to go into orbit around the problem. We can go into orbit around God’s promised solution, for every promise of God contains the gift that He promises. You remember that in a study we had?

 

So there’s joy and peace in believing. So the joy of trusting in Jesus is at the very center of the ABC prayer program. A Christian can be a professed Christian, he can understand many theories, but he will not have the joy of Jesus unless he believes in the Lord Jesus. How can a person whose boy is on drugs, whose girl is out in the sex world, whose husband is infatuated with someone else, whose wife is running around, how can that person, in the midst of that tremendous trauma, how can that person be happy? There’s only one way in the world, and that is to believe the Lord Jesus Christ will give us solutions. This Book is full of the solutions, praise the Lord. God has promised to keep His word, so there’s joy and peace in believing God.

 

But that isn’t all. The joy of the Lord, my friends, does something to the souls with whom we communicate. Notice now, how, as we pray for a human soul, we ask God to save that soul, no matter what tremendous problems that soul has. We claim a Bible promise that the Lord will save that soul. Follow me carefully. This Book tells us how the joy program enters into the soul-winning program as we pray for him.

 

Here it is, Psalm 51:12-13, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation…Then will I teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners will be converted to You.” What does that say? It says when God reveals to me the joy of salvation, when He reveals to me, and I really take Him at His word, and I know that He will keep His word, then I can teach transgressors His way. What is His way? The joyful way. And when men and women realize that the way of God is a joyful way, sinners will be converted.

 

You know, in a previous study, we almost dramatized a bit how a young man, let us say, in his teens is being allured to the world. And he sees his father and mother and various professed Christians, he looks into their countenances, and he sees what? Worry. He hears them speak, and they speak worriedly. He looks on the TV screen, and what does he see? Oh, my, oh, yes, who can blame him for wanting to be happy?

 

My friends, you and I ought to outdo the world a million to one and let the world know we found what we wanted when we found the joy of Jesus Christ. Psalm 51:12-13, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation….Then I will teach transgressors Your way.” What is His way? The joyful way. Why? The gospel is what? What’s the meaning of the word “gospel”? Good news! The gospel is good news. I’m to tell men and women there is good news. Every sin you’ve ever committed, He will forgive. Isn’t that good news?

 

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Isn’t that good news? Though you’ve messed up your life, and though you have scolded your boys and girls, and you belittle people, God will forgive you for it all, and He will still use you as an instrument to save them. Isn’t that good news? You’re deeply into debt. You’ve not done right in your business dealing. The Lord said, “I will still forgive you, and I will bring you out to wonderful success.” That’s good news. And I will teach transgressors Your way, the wonderful joyful way. This is the God we have, a wonderful Savior. That’s soul-winning. The joy of Jesus, the joy of trusting Jesus will be reflected, and people will say, “Naturally, I choose that way.”

 

I have a favorite author who has taught me more about soul-winning than all other authors combined. In that beautiful book The Desire of Ages, page 826, and I want to quote about how Jesus went about doing it. I am quoting, “His blessings He presents in the most alluring terms.” How does Jesus go about saving people? He presents His blessings, not His negatives, His blessings. Jesus isn’t going around emphasizing the negatives; He’s emphasizing the blessings. He told Peter, when Peter said, “What are we going to receive? We’ve left everything to follow You?” Jesus said, “You will receive in this life alone 10,000-percent interest on your investment. Did you know Jesus said that? A hundred-fold. A hundred times one dollar is 10,000-percent interest.

 

You and I are to let the world know, my friends, that Jesus Christ offers us a wonderful thing, that we don’t give up anything, really. We make no sacrifice in finding Jesus. There is not one thing that Jesus asks us to give up that is not for our good and our happiness. How many can say Amen? And those viewing, say Amen, too, will you? Right.

 

“His blessings He presents in the most alluring terms.” I am quoting, “He is not content merely to announce these blessings; He presents them in the most attractive way, to excite a desire to possess them.” Friends, this is the way to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Tell men and women that you found the joy of His salvation. We’re not praising self. We’re praising the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And sinners looking on will say, “Oh, I’d like what you have.”

 

So, there’s the spiritual, soul-winning benefit, not merely is there a soul-winning benefit, but there is a spiritual benefit for ourselves in the joy of Jesus. Notice this. In James, chapter 1, verses 2 and 3, we read these words, and you may want to put it beside Revelation 14:12. In Revelation, the fourteenth chapter and the twelfth verse, it tells us that those who are ready to meet Jesus will be a patient people, “here is the patience of the saints,” and so on. How in the world are we going to be patient?

 

By the way, how many here would really like to be patient, may I see your hands? Wonderful! Those viewing, good. You’ve asked for trouble. You’ve asked for trouble. Did you know the only way to become patient is to have trouble? Here it is, James, chapter 1, verses 2 and 3, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

 

What gives us patience? Trouble, but not just trouble, it is our response to trouble. Romans, the fifth chapter, verses 3 and 4, says, “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation works patience.” When we glory in it, when we joy in it, it works patience.

 

I remember several years ago my wife and I were conducting a series in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, and I had a great burden for the people in that audience to reflect the joy of Jesus. I thought, “Oh, my. I’d almost like to take a person by the hand and say, “Be happy, brother! Be happy!” you know, and I finally decided that I would choose a man that was sitting right near the front, and I would start to exhort him. And maybe if I would sort of select that person, exhort him, maybe the audience could accept it better.

 

So, I said, “Brother, brother, listen. I’m talking to you, brother.” I said, “It says here that you’re to rejoice if you fall. If you fell and broke a leg, would you rejoice? You ought to, brother. You ought to.” And right while I was exhorting him, there was a wasp up on the ceiling. And that wasp must have had the discerning of spirits. He took the most gracious curve I’ve ever seen. He came down to where I was; I had my glasses on, and he came between my glasses and my right eye, went clear over to my nose, and he sewed up my eyelid just like a Singer Sewing Machine, zip, zip, zip.

 

I was still exhorting this man to be happy. No matter what happens, you should rejoice. If you want to be patient, you must have trouble, and you must make the right response. And right while I was doing it, zip, zip, zip. And you know it occurred to me all at once that I either must rejoice or be a public hypocrite. “Well, praise the Lord,” but the rest of the evening, I had to preach with one mouth and one eye. And when I went home from the meeting that night, that eyelid was swollen. I said to my wife, “I’ve never had such a sting in my life.” I said, “It looked like that eyelid will be swollen for a month.” I said, “Well, praise the Lord. Thank the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord.”

 

And the next evening when I went to church, you wouldn’t have known that any wasp had been anywhere around. That wasp sting did something for me. I should praise the Lord all the while. Rejoice. Amen? He said, “This is the way to be patient. When you have trouble, say, ‘Praise the Lord.’” When people gossip about you, “Praise the Lord.” When people slander you, “Praise the Lord.” That’s what the Bible says to do. It does something for our own spiritual lives. The Bible says I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. My friends, the next time somebody begins to curse us out, let’s remember that this is God’s appointed program. He lets the devil hassle us that we might have joy and peace in believing that Jesus Christ will still take care of us. Aren’t you glad?

 

I tell you, I thank the Lord. We don’t have to retaliate. Like that circuit rider way back 100 years or more ago. He was riding horseback. In those days, you know, they didn’t have the cars. And there were three men that heckled him. They came on their cars, way off where he was traveling along, and they thought they were going to get him all upset. And so one of them said, “Hello, Father Abraham.” The other said, “Hello, Father Isaac.” The other said, “Hello, Father Jacob.” And he turned, and he said, “I am neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob, but,” he said, “I’m Saul, the son of Kish, who went to find my father’s asses, and behold I have found them.” Now, that doesn’t lead to patience. That’s retaliation. We can rather say as Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

 

So, when we rejoice in trouble, it does something for us. It not merely saves another soul, God uses it to perfect patience in us. And that isn’t all. Then there is something else that happens. The joy of Jesus does something to any marriage. Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Do you know what is the strength of marriage? Not trying to reform our mates, but the joy of the Lord.

 

I think of a lady who came to us on a Friday night at a certain place we were holding meetings thousands of miles from here. Her husband was a professional man, and she was afraid that he was falling in love with one of the patients, felt quite sure. She said, “Sir, what can I do? My husband isn’t coming back home like he used to, and there are a lot of little things by which I feel quite sure he’s falling in love with this woman. I know who she is. What shall I do?”

 

I said, “The Bible tells you what to do. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, ‘Rejoice evermore.’ In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, ‘In everything give thanks.’

 

“You mean, thank the Lord that he’s falling in love with that woman? If that isn’t a new one.”

 

“No, not thank the Lord that he’s falling in love with that woman, but thank the Lord that Jesus Christ will keep His word and help you to be happy no matter what happens.” Amen? And I said, “Nehemiah 8:10 says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’” I said, “Did you know how the women get a man like that?” I said, “The Bible tells. It tells how this woman gets him, and it tells how you can get him back.”

 

“It does?”

 

“Yes. It says in Proverbs, ‘She catches him with her eyelids.’” You ever see the picture? There she is, capturing him…The Bible says so. But the Lord Jesus said, “Your strength, the light of the body is the eye.” And Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” All the women in the world, in 99 cases out of 100, can never take him away from you if you are a joyful spouse, happy, delightful. I said, “So, you must ask the Lord to put a honeymoon twinkle in your eyes.”

 

She said, “A what?”

 

“A honeymoon twinkle.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“A honeymoon twinkle is what you had before you married him.” Wasn’t that wonderful?

 

She said, “Do you think you would have a honeymoon twinkle if your wife were leaving you?”

 

I said, “Never. I would not have a honeymoon twinkle at all unless God put it there.” I said, “And if you try to put it there, you will fail, but there is something you can do which will result in the Lord putting it there.”

 

“What can I do?”

 

I said, “This is what you can do. The Bible says to rejoice all the while, 1 Thessalonians 5:16. And Nehemiah 8:10 says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ The strength of pulling him out of that experience is to have that honeymoon twinkle. So I’m going to give you a very practical drill to engage in.” I said, “You’ll write down ten words in a column. Each of these words will represent one thing for which you are grateful or should be grateful. Ten words. Maybe the first word is…make it the simplest words, don’t try to think up some big thing. Think of the simplest thing you can think of. A toothbrush, something we never thank the Lord for, right? And then when you put that word down, then write it. As you write it, you see yourself write it. Then you hold it in the palm of your hand, and you say it. And it conforms to a Bible text, joy plus the Lord equals strength, Nehemiah 8:10.” So, ‘Toothbrush. Thank You.’ That’s joy. ‘Thank You, Lord.’ That’s the joy of the Lord in Nehemiah 8:10. ‘Thank You, Lord, for the toothbrush.’ And when you say it, without you realizing it, a little honeymoon twinkle just begins to develop.

 

“Maybe the next word you’d put down is toothpaste. What good would a toothbrush be without toothpaste? Toothpaste. Then you say, ‘Thank You, Lord for the toothpaste,’ and without your realizing it, a little more joy comes to your eyes. You’re not working on the eyes. You’re doing what the Lord said. He said, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength, and the strength is in the eye.’ The joy that emanates from that honeymoon twinkle has a tremendous drawing power. Well, that’s toothbrush and toothpaste. How about saying, ‘Thank you, Lord, for teeth to brush’? How about that?”

 

How many are thankful for teeth to brush, may I see your hands? Good. Brother Steve was speaking one night on this subject, and he got just this far. He said, “Put down ‘Teeth,’” and a little old lady stood up way back in the middle of the auditorium, and she said, “Brother Steve,” and he thought, “Oh, my.” “Brother Steve, I thank the Lord for my gums.” How about that?

 

“Thank You, Lord, for a toothbrush. Thank You, Lord, for toothpaste. Thank You, Lord, for teeth to brush.” Well, let’s see…another….jaw! ‘Thank You, Lord, for jaws to hold my teeth in with.’” Somebody said, “That’s kind of silly.” Did you ever try to control your teeth without any jaws? Here are your dentures out here in space. “Thank You, Lord, for jaws to hold my teeth in with.” “Thank You, Lord, for a neck to hold my jaws up with.”

 

One time I was speaking on that, and somebody back in the audience turned to someone else, and they said, “Now, he’s getting silly.” I said, “If you think it’s silly, get along without your neck one day.” My friends, it’s a lot sillier to go crabbing along through life than it is to be thankful to the Lord, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Amen?

 

I said, “Make a list of ten words. Put each word into a sentence, ‘Thank You, Lord, for…Thank You, Lord, for…Thank You, Lord, for a toothbrush. Thank You for teeth. Thank You for toothpaste. Thank you for the jaws. Thank you for a neck.” On and on, “Thank You for the air.” How many are thankful for air? If you’re not, hold your breath five minutes. See?

 

I said, “Sister, make this list of ten things, then between now and tomorrow,” we’re to see her at 11 o’clock the next morning, then I said, “Tomorrow, when we see you, we’ll see how well it’s worked out.” I said, “It’s really a ten-day program. You thank the Lord for 10 things today, ten more tomorrow (that makes 20), until you have 100 the tenth day, and something tremendous has happened. There’s a strength, alluring strength, ten days, but,” I said, “since we’re going to leave after tomorrow, come at 11 o’clock.” And when I met her at 11 o’clock the next morning, in one day, friends, just one day, I looked in that lady’s eyes. I want to tell you, friends, when I looked into her eyes, such a pair of dancing eyes. I thought, “If I weren’t a married man, and she weren’t a married woman, I still wouldn’t marry her because she wasn’t cut out for me.” She was cut out for her husband. And I was sharing this program so that she would have the power of Jesus Christ to draw her mate.

 

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” That is the strength of marriage, friends. May God forgive us for being crabs. I’ve often said it’s bad enough to be a Coon without being a crab. What do you say? Scolding, nagging a little bit, chasing the good angels away? Evil angels come around. Friends, the strength of the marriage is joy.

 

You know what? A few weeks later, we received a letter. “Dear Pastor and Mrs. Coon, everything’s all right in our home. My husband are sweethearts again.” Friends, try it! It’s tremendous. God will bless us as we ask Him to give us a simple trust, a joyful trust in Jesus. Why? Because we know that, “All things work together for good,” Romans 8:28. And we know that He who died on Calvary will freely answer our prayers. There is joy and peace in believing Jesus. Let’s do it, what do you say?

 

Now, that isn’t all. The joy of trusting in Jesus and the strength of trusting in Him is also health to the whole being, body, mind and soul. In the hundred-and-third Psalm, the first five verses, it says this, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” And it says if we do this, if we praise Him with everything that’s within us, He will forgive every iniquity. He will heal every disease. Did you know that? He didn’t say when, whether it will be today, tomorrow or in the resurrection, but He will do it, heal every disease to the joyful person. How about that?

 

Now it says we should praise Him with everything that is within us, that is, every sense. Let me explain. You take a little cardboard about two inches square. On this cardboard, you will write ten words in a column. Each word represents one thing for which you should be grateful. Now, all that is within us is to praise Him. We praise Him by writing out these ten words. We then, as we write them, this is the sense of touch we’re employing. As we write, we see ourselves write it; that’s the sense of sight. We carry that little cardboard in our hand, and then we put these words into a sentence. Still touching it (that’s touch), looking at it (sense of sight), then we say, “Thank You, Lord” (that’s the sense of speech), and we hear ourselves thanking the Lord (that’s the sense of hearing).

 

Every sense that we can we put into praising the Lord, and He said if you will bless Him with all that’s within you, He will forgive every iniquity; He will heal every disease. And, friends, we have been checking on this in a clinical way more or less for a number of years. Many of you have heard how 30 years ago, after I had learned something about the ABC’s of prayer, Satan came in and almost crushed me. And I began to get my eyes off of Jesus, the source of joy. And I began to say, “Why did this thing have to happen to me?”

 

And for three days as we were traveling, I was just crushed, crabbing and complaining. The next morning, I couldn’t get out of bed. Dr. Miller, a friend of mine, that China doctor, goiter specialist, soybean specialist, was in the same city. My wife called him, and he came over to see me. He told me that I would be laid up for six months with nerve exhaustion.

 

I started praising the Lord for all I was worth, and in three days I was up and went home. I said, “Thank You, Lord. Now you have shown me the ABC’s of prayer and the joy of trusting in Jesus.” I got my eyes off of Jesus and onto people, and I lost my joy. Now, as I put my mind on Jesus and His promises, there is joy and peace in believing. I said, “I’m going to share it with the world.”

 

I didn’t do too good a job for quite a while, but finally one day, we’re holding a series of meetings in Saint Louis, Missouri. There was a lady who came to us almost at the beginning of the series. She said, “Pastor Coon, I’m in trouble.” She said, “I was involved in an automobile accident, had surgery. It was successful, but it left my nerves in a state of shock.” She said, “I’ve gone to one nerve specialist after another, after another, after another,” and she said, “They’ve told me that there’s nothing they can do.” And she said, “One finally said, ‘Why don’t you go to a minister. Maybe he can get through to you.’” And she said, “Do you think you could help me?”

 

I said, “I know.” We called our series then “The Positive Living Clinic.” I said, “Yes, ma’am. Will you do what we suggest?”

 

She said, “Yes.”

 

I said, “When you go home, make a list of ten words on just a little cardboard so you can carry it. Make each word into a sentence conforming to the Bible formula. It’s a chemistry formula. Joy plus the Lord is strength, Nehemiah 8:10.”

 

By the way, did you know it? Did you know that every time you praise the Lord, there’s a chemical change in the body? It has been researched and proven when men and women praise the Lord and praise the Lord, there is actually a chemical reaction in the body, a physical reaction.

 

I said, “So, you will make a list of ten things? ‘Thank You, Lord, for this,’ ‘Thank You, Lord, for this,’ ‘Thank You, Lord, for this,’ ‘Thank You, Lord, for this.’ You use the sense of touch, the sense of sight, the sense of speech, the sense of hearing. All of it is employed in blessing the Lord, and He promises to heal you. And the next day add ten more. The tenth day you have 100. That’s a whole day program, isn’t it? ‘Thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord.’ The devil can’t get in! You’re just closing the door. ‘Thank You, Lord; thank You…Get out, Satan. Thank You, Lord; Thank You, Lord. Satan, get thee hence. Thank You, Lord.’

 

At the end of ten days, we’re closing our series. She came up to me. She said, “Pastor, something wonderful has happened!”

 

I said, “Tell me about it.”

 

She said, “I went back to my doctor, and my doctor told me I’m absolutely well, and I know I am.”

 

I said, “Will you write it out in detail?”

 

She wrote it out in detail, and the next series we held was down in Winter Park, Florida, and the very first night of that meeting I received a letter from that lady. What a letter! Talk about adjectives! That lady said, “I want to tell you nothing like this has ever happened to me in all my life. I am completely well.” She said, “And when I went to my nerve specialist, and he said, ‘You’re well,’ I said, ‘I know it; I just wanted to hear you say it.’ He said, ‘What did you do?’” She said, “I did what you told me to do. I went to see a minister. ‘What did he tell you to do?!’ He told me to take a little cardboard, write ten words, make each word into a sentence, each day praise the Lord, praise the Lord for all of these for ten days until I got a hundred things. He said, ‘It worked, didn’t it?’” He didn’t know about the Bible, but he knew what had happened to her, and that’s what counts.

 

You know, I was so thrilled with that letter, that at the very first study that I gave in the church in Winter Park, Florida, I read part of this letter, and I got myself in trouble. Somebody came to the pastor, “Pastor, would you take Coon with you over to visit a little woman about 26 years of age.” They said, “She’s fit to be committed. She’s in an awful, awful condition emotionally.” And when the pastor asked me to go, I thought, “Why in the world did I ever read that letter? They’re going to have me going around visiting all of the mental people? That’s not my calling. I’m to give the gospel. I just related the experience of joy, but I didn’t know it was going to get me in trouble.” I almost felt like saying, “Forgive me, Lord,” but now she’s asked, so we went.

 

We rang the doorbell. That little lady came to the door. I want to tell you what a picture. Her eyelids were way down just like shades over a window, way down. She was just peeking out under those shades. And she talked just like she looked. She said, “Come in,” and I thought, “Oh, I hope not.” And she said, “Sit down,” and we sat down, and she plunked. She said, “I’ve come to ask you to help me.”

 

You know what I said in my heart? “Lord, help me.

 

She said, “I have lived in an imaginary room with no windows, no doors, four walls for 20 years. And every year these walls have come closer and closer.” And she went into quite a bit of detail, which we will not tonight. She said, “Now, the walls are so close to me, no windows, no doors, and it’s just driving me up those walls.” She said, “It’s terrible. Can you help me?”

 

Whew. I said, “Will you do what we tell you to do?” You could imagine the trauma I was going through.

 

She said, “I will do anything.”

 

I said, “All right. Go and get you a pencil and paper.” She went into the other room, wobbling, wobbled back and sat down.

 

I said, “Write down ten things for which you’re grateful right down in a column. Inside of six minutes, I believe, she had written six things. I said, “Lady” (she had done the best of anybody I ever talked to), that fast! One of the things she was thankful for was Jesus. I said, “There’s hope.” Another thing she was thankful for was her husband, and I say any woman that is thankful for her husband there is hope. Six things just like that. I said, “All you’ve got to do is write four more things, and that makes ten.” Then I said, “All day long, put each of these into a sentence conforming to the Bible, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Will you do it?

 

She said, “Yes.”

 

I said, “And come tonight to the meeting, and we’ll coach you as to how to add ten more for tomorrow.”

 

She said, “I can’t be where people are.”

 

I said, “Come after the meeting to the pastor’s study.”

 

She said, “Well, I’ll come every other night.”

 

I said, “If you don’t come until tomorrow night, you’ll have 20 things, and if you want to get well faster, add to your list, do more than 20, but keep thanking the Lord, thanking the Lord, thanking the Lord and thanking the Lord, and write down anything. Don’t make it hard; make it fun, just keep thanking the Lord.”

 

She said, “All right.”

 

She came the next night, and she had…How many things was she supposed to have? Twenty for just two days. She had 41. I said, “You’re looking better.” We coached her along a little bit and encouraged her. The fourth day she had 82. I said, “Lady, you’re looking better.” The shades were halfway up. She looked like she was 50 percent cured. I said, “Lady, how do you feel?”

 

She said, “I don’t feel.”

 

I didn’t know what she meant. I said, “What do you mean you don’t feel?”

 

“Well,” she said, “I feel like I was in Texas.”

 

We’d just been in Texas, and I thought, “Walls?” No walls in Texas. I said, “What about those walls that you were telling us about that that had no windows or doors?”

 

“Oh,” she said, “Pastor, windows and doors have come back in my walls.”

 

Four days, my dear friends, four days of the joy of trusting Jesus – four days brought windows and doors into four walls that she had never experienced for 20 years. I say God knows what He’s telling us to do when He said, “Trust in Jesus.” There’s a joy in trusting Him. There’s health in trusting Him.

 

I was so thrilled. The eighth day she had 160-some things. Thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You…The joy of the Lord is your strength. The eyelids were up. The shades were up. Her step was elastic. She looked perfectly well. I said, “Lady, you look to me like you’re absolutely well.”

 

She said, “I am.”

 

I said, “Prove it.”

 

She said, “I have gone to work.”

 

I said, “Well, that’s good.”

 

You know nervous people ought to get their minds off of themselves. I thought, “That’s good. How many hours a week?” Well, a week hadn’t finished yet.

 

She said, “I worked ten hours a day.”

 

“Ten hours a day?!” I said, “Well, what do you do ten hours a day?”

 

She said, “I babysit with little children.”

 

I said, “Sister, you must be well. That would kill me now.” Sitting with little children?! One going this direction, another…I said, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

She said, “I’m absolutely well.”

 

Eight days of praising the Lord! My friends, it’s one thing to give people choice (praise the Lord); it’s a wonderful thing to be humble (thank the Lord), but, my friends, to add to it the joy of Jesus Christ, to let the world know that we trust Him, it’s emphasized in the Bible. It is the strength of soul-winning. Sinners will be converted. It is the strength of marriage. The joy of the Lord is your strength. It is the strength of the soul, for when we rejoice in all things, patience is developed. It is the strength, my friends, it is the strength of the body. The joy of the Lord is your strength. “A merry heart doeth good like,” what? Like “a medicine.”

 

Eight hundred twenty-six texts of Scripture tell us to be thankful – all that is within us to be thankful. Thank the Lord with your touch, with your fingers. Write it out. See yourself writing it. Say it. Hear yourself saying it. From that time, my friends, till today, you would be literally astonished if we were to share with you what has been happening in communicating the joy of Jesus. Maybe I can share just one more illustration to show you what happens in communicating this joy.

 

We were holding a series of meetings a long ways from here. A lady came to us, “Can you help me?”

 

I said, “I think so.”

 

She said, “I have a problem with my husband.” She said, “He’s a wonderful man.” They were both in their 30s. He was a medical doctor. She said, “He’s a wonderful guy.” You know, when I was a boy, nobody was a “guy.” Now, even girls are “guys.” She said, “He’s a wonderful guy, but,” she said, “I can’t stand the ground he even walks on. I have such a revulsion to that fellow. Can you help me?”

 

I said, “Yes. Will you do what we suggest?”

 

She said, “I’ll do anything.”

 

“Tomorrow morning, when you get up make a list of ten things for which you are grateful. Make each one into the sentence conforming to the Bible, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and say it. “Thank You, Lord, for this; thank You; thank You; thank You!” Come back tomorrow night, and I’ll coach you.

 

She said, “I’ll do it.”

 

The next night, when she came she said, “Pastor, two amazing things took place.” She said, “One is, this morning, when I got up, I was mad because I promised you I would be thankful, and I didn’t want to be thankful. And so I began to rationalize. I said, ‘My husband is here; he will think I’m crazy if I go around saying, ‘Thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord.’ And my older girl, she will think I’m insane.”

 

So, she said, “I waited until he went to his practice and the girl went to school, then I was left with my little girl. And I realized that, to tell the truth, I had to what I promised.” She said, “Pastor, it has taken me one hour to list the first thing for which I was grateful. I studied over, ‘Why should I be thankful for that? What reason is there for me to be grateful.’” She said, “And finally at the end of the hour, I put down the first item. It took me an hour to put the next one.”

 

That woman is really in trouble, right? She said, “It has taken me all day just to list ten things.” But she said, “Pastor, the next amazing thing is this: I’m 50 percent healed right now. My attitude is 50 percent better.”

 

I said, “Now, for tomorrow, you’ll add 10 more; that will make 20, and report tomorrow night.”

 

She came back the next night, 48 hours of praising the Lord, only 48 hours, and she wrote me a letter and handed it to me. She said, “Pastor, I’m completely cured. I’m in love with my husband, completely so.” She said, “I have spent a lot of money on psychiatric help, and,” she said, “I’ve received more harm than I have good. How come in 48 hours of this my whole experience with my husband is changed? We’re sweethearts. How come?”

 

I said, “The Lord said so. He said, ‘The Lord dwells in the praises of His people,’ Psalm 22, verse 3. And, ‘He that has the Son has life,’ 1 John 5:12. So, as you praised Him, He saturated you with His life!”

 

She said, “Well, what’s going to happen when you go?” We were going back to Tennessee.

 

I said, “All I did was tell you about it. You keep doing it, and God will fulfill His word.” My wife and I were back in Tennessee, and we came back West nine months later. We were holding a series of meetings up in Canada about 200 miles or so from this doctor and his wife.

 

And we came home one night from the meeting, and my wife said to me, “Did you see the doctor and his wife here tonight?”

 

I said, “Yes.”

 

She said, “Did you see them holding hands?”

 

I said, “No, I didn’t! Let’s go to see them.” Between series we went down to see them.

 

She met us at the door. She said, “Pastor, it lasted! It has lasted!”

 

The pastor’s wife, in directing us to their home, she said, “Coon, I want to tell you there’s a complete change in that woman’s personality as a result of that one-week’s series of meetings. Whatever happened,” she said, “it was wonderful!”

 

My friends, there are 826 texts of Scripture. God has emphasized again and again, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” physical strength, mental strength, nerve strength, soul-winning strength, family strength.

 

Shall we pray? Dear Lord in Heaven, we thank You that You are forgiving us for wherein we, as professed children of God, with all the wonderful promises of Your Word, have gone crabbing around. We claim that forgiveness right now. And while our heads are bowed in prayer, how many here tonight want God’s forgiveness that we’ve not been rejoicing more? Will you lift your hands? And those who are viewing, will you lift your hands? Lord, thank You now for healing us from these negatives.

 

And while our heads are still bowed in prayer, and our eyes are closed, how many are also repentant and will ask God to forgive us that we’ve not shown the joy in our soul-winning to others so they’d see reflected in us a simple trust in Jesus, and we want the Lord to fill us with trust and faith and confidence in Him, will you lift your hands? God bless you. Thank You, Lord, for hearing us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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