Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The Joy of the Lord
The Children of God had been forced into exile because of their sin. Nehemiah gathered the people together, and the priest read the scriptures. Now, it had been a long time since the people had heard God’s Word read. When they heard His word, they responded in sorrow, weeping, and mourning.
Nehemiah stood before the people and gave them a strange command. He told them to stop weeping, go, eat, and celebrate. Don’t be sorrowful, but be joyful, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
They were to celebrate the forgiveness and restoration God had brought about.
This story seems so contrary to our thinking. When we experience the conviction of sin, our first response is guilt and shame. A celebration is not the first thing that comes to mind.
God’s response to our repentance is forgiveness and restoration. God is joyful over our repentance and return to Him.
Jesus Was Joyful
Christianity is a joyful religion. Jesus was a joyful person.
In John 15, Jesus told the disciples that everything He taught them was so that His joy would be in them, and their joy would be full.
What does the joy of the Lord mean? Just knowing God is the starting point for joyful living. God is joyful over you and me. I have three children, and they are the joy of my life. I am proud of their accomplishments, and I love bragging about them to my friends. Just as a human father is joyful and takes pride in his children, so God is joyful and takes great pride in His children.
As His child, He takes joy in and over you.
God’s Joy Gives You Strength
God’s joy over you gives you strength and courage to face tomorrow. His joy lives in you and gives you a joy that is beyond understanding. Your joy is not dependent on your circumstance. The joy of the Lord comes from an inner peace knowing all is well with you and God. Joy is the confidence that God is working for your good.
The Joy of the Lord lifts your heart from sorrow to celebration, thanksgiving, and worship. The joy of the Lord is your strength today.
Look at that promise again.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10
Make these confessions.
I have the joy of Jesus in me today.
My joy is not dependent on my circumstances but on the Lord.
My Heavenly Father rejoices over me today.
The joy of the Lord is my strength today.
In Jesus name,
As you place your trust in the Lord, you will find His joy springing up in your innermost being. You will find new strength as you rest in the joy of the Lord.
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