The JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH.
Where does strength come from? Well, according to this verse, one source of strength is the JOY of the Lord. Well - that got me thinking. What is the JOY of the Lord?
Well . . . we know that JOY is something that comes from within. It's source has to be deep and abiding. JOY is certainly a choice - but I also believe that it is Holy Spirit created . . . Holy Spirit derived. Because Jesus dwells in me, I have JOY - because Jesus dwells in me, I can choose to live that JOY out in my every day life. I can choose to bury it too . . .
When Nehemiah wrote this, the people were mourning a season of sin and neglect of God's ordinances. Nehemiah was encouraging them to repent - but to also move ahead and celebrate God's mercy. We can get caught up in our failures and sometimes beat ourselves up for disappointing God. I am so thankful that we have the freedom to confess to the Lord and be assured of His forgiveness. We don't get bonus points for moping around - Jesus paid a high price to cover our sin and give us JOY.
When I am feeling weak in my own sin or just not up to the task at hand, I must rely on my JOY in the Lord to carry me through. My joy in Him will actually supply the strength that I need to be obedient or maybe just to make it through a difficult part of the journey.
JOY OF THE LORD
I don't have to "muster it up."
It is amply supplied by the Lord Himself.
It is available 24/7.
I must choose it.
Joy in the Lord is all about the gift of salvation - the gift of grace, mercy, love and peace. Joy in the Lord is all about my standing as His child - His beloved.
I am so thankful that my life if full of JOY - even when happiness might evade me. I am so thankful that the Lord's strength sustains me. I am thankful that no one can take it away from me - I can only let it go. No one can steal it - but I can give it away to others.
Let's be people of JOY - it is contagious -
it is reflective of our Savior.
Today - I am thankful for JOY.