For the joy of the Lord is your strength
What is joy? Is it the human state of perpetual happiness? Is a joyful person always smiling, contented and expresses an attractive and pleasant personality? I think these are the joyful person’s characteristics but true joy is something that goes much deeper. True joy, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It is not intrinsic in a person, in other words he was not born with it but he has acquired it as a result his upbringing by his loving parents. True joy must come from outside and it depends as a result of his intimate relationship with another person whom he loves and trusts. We may have lost our earthly parents but nevertheless throughout our adulthood we desire in our heart to continue to have this essential close personal relationship we had with our parents.
Nehemiah 8:10 reads “For the joy of the Lord is your strength”. Notice it says that ‘joy’ precedes ‘strength’. In the character of a person, the acquirement of joy gives him strength and not the reverse. It is not to be strong in all the things we do, including the accumulation of material wealth and social achievements in one’s life to obtain lasting happiness and joy. The Bible tells us specifically how to be ‘joyful of the Lord’. This includes our dependency on Him, a close relationship with Him through the constant reading of His word, honoring Him in all the things we do to serve others. In return God bestows us with joy that comes from the quiet confidence and state of peace that exuberate from our hearts where His spirit resides. This joy and happiness that come from within us become a major part of our character. Notices that this human state of mind is not dependent nor is it affected by human wealth and achievements. It is not dependent on our life’s circumstances but instead triumph over life’s circumstances. Thus our strength is a result of our constant loving relationship with God. It is a result of the joy and happiness that He promises us, which comes from our possession and our expression of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Lasting joy is produced in our hearts when we accept the salvation of Jesus Christ. We will then begin to understand the failure of our life’s constant search for satisfaction elsewhere. We are all special and He has individually created each one of us and called us by name! We realized now that it is the joy of knowing that our Lord has always loved us that has become the source of our strength! God has promised in Psalm 81:1 “Sing to joy for God our strength” and in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace us sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.
Reference: Unto the Hills. Billy Graham. A daily devotional Word Publishing.
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