Replacing The Cactus of Suffering With His Joy

The Transformative Power of the Joy of the Lord

By Warren David Horak

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The journey of life is a tapestry woven with both joyful moments and periods of deep suffering. For many in the Body of Christ, the path has been marked by extreme pain, sorrow, and affliction that has tested their faith to the core.

Yet, our gracious Lord does not desire for us to remain trapped in this cycle of suffering. Instead, He extends an invitation to replace the cactus of pain with the soothing balm of His immense joy.

In the words of Isaiah 61:3, we hear the Lord's promise: 

"To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

The weight of these words echoes through the ages, reminding us that the joy of the Lord is not a fleeting emotion but a transformative force that can reshape our lives from the inside out.

It is a gift, a balm for the weary soul, and a beacon of hope that guides us through even the darkest of valleys.

Recognizing the Enemy's Tactics

While the Lord desires to fill us with the joy of His presence, the enemy has an opposite agenda – to delay and even stop our eternal destiny in God.

The adversary employs various tactics to keep us trapped in a place of suffering, using circumstances, situations, people, and challenges as weapons to inflict pain and sorrow upon our lives.

However, we must not remain blinded to the enemy's schemes, for the Lord is speaking directly to us, saying, "You do not have to live any longer in that place of suffering!"

In John 10:10, Jesus warns us about the enemy's intentions, declaring, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

The joy of the Lord is an integral part of this abundant life that Christ came to give us, and we must be vigilant in guarding against the enemy's attempts to rob us of this precious gift.

Replacing the Cactus of Pain with the Joy of the Lord

Just as hugging a cactus would inflict excruciating pain upon our bodies, dwelling on past hurts and traumas can pierce our hearts and souls with anguish.

The Lord, in His infinite love and compassion, desires to gently lead us out of this house of suffering and replace the cactus of pain with the soothing oil of His joy.

This journey begins with a simple yet profound choice – will we cling to the familiar sting of suffering, or will we surrender our pain to the Great Healer and allow Him to pour His joy into our lives?

The Healing Process

Embracing the joy of the Lord is a sacred process that commences with healing and comfort. We cannot experience the fullness of His joy while still bound by the chains of our past wounds and afflictions.

Therefore, we must allow the Lord to tenderly heal our brokenness and comfort us in our seasons of mourning.

This process requires trust – a deep, unwavering trust in His covenant promises, His unfailing love, and His ability to bring healing to even the deepest of scars.

As we surrender each area of our pain to Him, whether it stems from past experiences, present circumstances, or future concerns, He will lovingly guide us into a place of comfort and peace.

In Jeremiah 30:17, the Lord declares, "For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the LORD." This promise reminds us that our Healer is not only capable but also willing to mend our brokenness and prepare us to receive the fullness of His joy.

Letting Go of the Past

To fully experience the transformative power of the joy of the Lord, we must let go of the cactuses of the past that have held us captive.

The Apostle Paul, a man intimately acquainted with suffering, encourages us in

Philippians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." 

Remembering our pain and loss is akin to hugging a cactus – it will only inflict further suffering and hinder our ability to embrace the joy that the Lord has prepared for us. Instead, we must intentionally release the pain of the past and focus our minds on the precious gift the Lord has given us: His joy.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

In this sacred journey towards joy, we are not alone.

The Holy Spirit, our ever-present Comforter and Healer, empowers us to receive the oil of joy that the Lord pours into our lives.

Just as Paul and Silas sang hymns of praise while confined in a prison cell, as recorded in Acts 16:25-34,

"But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed...," 

we too can experience the joy of the Lord in the midst of our most difficult circumstances.

-The joy in you will overcome the chaos around you!-

Think on this...

and receive and release His Joy now!

The joy that resides within us has the power to overcome the chaos that surrounds us, for as James 1:2-3 reminds us,

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

The Holy Spirit's role in imparting the joy of the Lord is further emphasized in Romans 14:17, which states,

"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can truly experience and walk in the fullness of the Lord's joy, even in the face of adversity.

Cultivating a Lifestyle of Joy

Embracing the joy of the Lord is not a one-time event but rather a lifelong pursuit, a lifestyle that we must intentionally cultivate.

As we surrender our pain and allow the Lord to heal our wounds, we must also actively choose to focus our thoughts on His promises and the gift of His joy.

This may involve practices such as meditating on Scriptures that speak of joy, engaging in worship and praise, and surrounding ourselves with a community of believers who can encourage us in our journey.

In Philippians 4:8, Paul instructs us,

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." 

By filling our minds with the Lord's truth and focusing our thoughts on His promises, we can cultivate an atmosphere conducive to experiencing His joy.

The Fruit of Joy

When we fully embrace the joy of the Lord, we become living testimonies of His transformative power.

Like trees planted by the Lord, we will bear the fruit of righteousness and bring glory to our Heavenly Father. The joy that radiates from our lives will serve as a beacon of hope, drawing others to the source of our strength and inviting them to experience the same freedom from suffering that we have found.

In Galatians 5:22-23, we are reminded that joy is a fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." As we abide in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, the joy of the Lord will naturally bear fruit in our lives, impacting those around us in profound ways.


The joy of the Lord is not merely a fleeting emotion but a powerful force and weapon that can transform our lives from the inside out.

By surrendering our pain and embracing the healing and comfort of the Lord, we can let go of the cactuses of the past and receive the oil of joy that He generously pours into our lives.

As we focus our minds on the Lord's promises and the gift of His joy, we will become trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord for His glory, as promised in Isaiah 61:3. May we all experience the transformative power of the joy of the Lord, allowing it to permeate every aspect of our lives and shine forth as a testament to His grace and love.

In the words of Nehemiah 8:10, "...Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

May this truth resonate within our hearts, empowering us to embrace the joy of the Lord as our strength, our refuge, and our source of transformation.

Warren David Horak

A disciple of Jesus | A son of God | Serial Entrepreneur | Business Mentor | Finding your Purpose Unlocking Your Destiny in Him | Kingdom Business Cooperation