Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength

 


My husband, Brian, and I recently wrapped up the weekly small group/bible study that we hosted in our home this past Winter/Spring. What a fun group! As a token of appreciation, one of the participants surprised us with a gift…a beautifully framed bible verse. We decided to display it in our home office for all to see. It says, "For the JOY of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

What a treasure! And, what beautiful words of truth!! Indeed, the JOY of the Lord is our strength…in good times and in not so good times. No matter what circumstance we may find ourselves, we must keep in mind that joy is not the same thing as happiness! Happiness is temporal and is dependent on your circumstances and the comfort of your flesh. However, joy is the opposite! Joy like faith is a spiritual force which needs to be actively stirred up.

As Christians, the Bible instructs us to walk by faith and not by sight so even if your world appears to be crumbling down, we are told not to focus on our circumstances, but on God’s saving power to deliver us from our circumstances. We would do well to remember that the aim of the enemy is to shift our focus from dependence on God onto our current situation. When we do this, we are not walking by faith – instead we are walking by sight which essentially causes us to walk in fear.

The ‘joy of the Lord’ is a place where we get to where we can stand firm in assurance that for God there is no situation too hard for Him to deliver you and I from and that only He has the ability to do it. When we get to this place, we experience a supernatural peace which stirs up joy within our heart. This joy kicks fear and worry out of our heart and joy takes residence within our spirit and flows like blood through our spirit and causes our spirit to experience supernatural strength. God tells us that we must ‘enter His rest’ and to cease from trying to do God’s work for Him and to let Him take full control of our lives. We are to cast ALL not some of our burdens upon Him so that He can exercise His full power in our lives! Some of us are too busy trying to do God’s work that we have never entered into ‘His Rest’ and are constantly frustrated and tired with life – we are all guilty of this!

However, with ‘the joy of the Lord’, it doesn’t matter the circumstances. You and I can feel rest assured that brighter days are coming. Hebrews 12:2-3 reminds us,

“Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endures such

opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Many Blessings!

 

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