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THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH


 
 

BIBLE READING


 

Nehemiah 8:10

 

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH

 

Nehemiah 8 instructs us that God’s desire to create a foundation of joy in those who serve and follow him. The context of Nehemiah 8 is that the nation of Israel had just rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem and were learning again what it is to live in obedience to the word of God. As Ezra opens God’s word, the people fall on their faces in mourning and shame for their disobedience. And in response, Nehemiah proclaims to God’s people, “Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). God desires for joy to be at the foundation of relationship with him. He longs for us to be a people marked by the joy that can only come from restored relationship with our Creator. His joy is to be our strength.


Psalm 16:8-11 says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” It is only in establishing that God is the leader of our lives, that God is our LORD, that we will be strengthened by the joy that comes from a relationship with him. It is only in our continual pursuit of his presence that we will discover the fullness of joy meant to be ours as God’s children.


I want you to know this: God wants to be your strength today. God wants to ground your life in his steadfast joy. God’s desire is to “lead you beside the still waters” and do a powerful work in your heart to increase your experience of his joy. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” May you discover the powerful medicine of joy today.

 
What care, thought, or burden is keeping you from the fullness of joy today? What area of your life do you need to surrender in order to live in total dependence on God? Where is God wanting to fill you with his abundant joy today?

 

GUIDED PRAYER

 

1. Meditate on the strength that comes from joy alone. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to have more of the joy that God has for you. Read these verses slowly and reflectively.


“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17


“Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11



2. Surrender every area of your life into the capable hands of God and enter into the joy that comes from a relationship with your Creator.


Rest in his peaceful presence and allow him to fill you with overflowing joy. Pray and ask God to guide you into a more joyful life and to free you from whatever would keep you from experiencing all he has for you.


“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

 

Have a listen to the following song by Rend Collective ....

WARNING you will be singing it all day!



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