November 30th 2023
Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! – Nehemiah 8:10 NL
What is joy? Joy is an emotion. It is an emotion of great delight and happiness. To be joyful is to be elated about something. What is the “joy of the Lord?” The joy of the Lord is joy that comes from God. It is an emotion of elation that God gives His people. It is the gladness of heart that God gives us because we know Him, trust Him, and rely on Him. Why is the joy of the Lord our strength? Emotions of sadness and dejection rob us of our energy. Joy, on the other hand, does just the opposite. It gives us energy and strength.
Joy, and the strength it provides, are important because we need them in the daily struggles of life that we all go through. These struggles can have the effect of wearing us down, tiring us out, and causing us to want to give up. The joy of the Lord is the antidote to all of that. It gives us the strength to face the trials and troubles of life with grace and peace. It is hard to bring down a person who has the inner strength that comes from the joy of the Lord.
Since the joy we have comes from above, it can actually increase during the trials and troubles of life. The apostles experienced this when they were arrested twice by the high council in Jerusalem. After the second arrest, they were flogged and told to never preach the Gospel again, but they left there “rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). They also continued to preach the Gospel.
Even though joy comes from God, there is a human component as well. Having joy is something that we do. As a result, there are things we can do to increase our joy. The prophet Habakkuk faced all sorts of difficulties, but he said “yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk made a decision to make himself joyful.
Today, as our strength is about to be tested, let us follow Habakkuk’s example and stir up the joy of the Lord we have within us.
Inspirational Image of the Day