“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The people of Nehemiah’s day were convicted of their sin, and they wept bitterly because of it. They understood they could never live up to the standard of God’s holy law and that they were undeserving of Gods redemption. Sound similar? We are no different, in our lives the meaning of this verse can easily elude us to when times are tough. We forget that it is not what we do that brings us joy but what has already been done for us that allows us to say, “the joy of the Lord is our strength”.
In the midst of some crazy things going on in my life, whether that be school, family life, friendships, I found strength in focusing not on how God can meet my needs for emotional strength in chaotic situations but focusing on where God finds His joy.
- God finds His joy in His own character. Joy originates from the Lord and true joy has the Lord as its object.
His joy strengthens me spiritually, emotionally and relationally
· Spiritual strength; enjoying and resting in His presence, resisting temptation and continually living out His word.
· Emotional strength; responding and not reacting in a crisis, maintaining Gods perspective in chaos and modelling the character of Jesus when under pressure.
· Relational strength; giving yourself in service to others, being there to carry the burdens of others and courageously calling out others in holiness and fruitfulness.
Jesus is the remedy to sin we need to be connected to God and to experience the joy of the Lord. We can see this in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
If you are asking how do I receive the joy of the Lord? The answer is simple. If you believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as your saviour then the joy of the Lord is already with you, and the Holy spirit dwells inside you. It is this continuous presence of God that fills us with overflowing joy. Whatever you are facing, God will see you through it, place your trust in the Lord and He will be your strength. My sister once said to me that we can either let our circumstances shape how we see our relationship with Jesus, or, let our relationship with Jesus shape how we see our circumstances. In doing this, our focus is on the Lord and what He is doing in and through us. The real joy that comes from the Lord is not dependent on our feelings and is not temporary, rather a continual inner sense of His peace that passes all understanding.
My prayer for you is this; Romans 15:13 “may He, God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in Him, so you may overflow with hope by the power of his holy spirit.”
A blog by Sarah Reid