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
You are strong today because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah was a reluctant leader who God used to restore Israel and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The people had been forced into exile because of their sin. Nehemiah gathered the people together, and the priest read the scriptures. The Children of God had gone a long time without hearing God’s word. When they heard the word, they responded in sorrow, weeping, and mourning.
A Strange Command
Nehemiah stood before the people and gave them a strange command. He told them to stop weeping. He said, go, eat, and celebrate. Don’t be sorrowful, but be joyful for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
They were to celebrate because God had brought about forgiveness and restoration.
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 returning to Him.
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? Knowing God is joyful is the starting point. 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 on 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.
God Takes Joy in You
As a child of God, He takes joy in and over you.
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. This joy comes from an inner peace knowing all is well with you and God. Joy is the confidence that God is working for your good.
Joy 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,
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How are you walking in the joy of the Lord today? Share in the comments below.
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