By Pastor Jeff,
The Joy of the Lord is my strength is a verse that has been quoted I don’t know how many times in cards, songs, in paintings, pictures and so on.
But do you know where it comes from in the bible? Psalms for sure, right? maybe Proverbs after all the smartest man that ever was outside of Christ would know of Gods joy!
After the captivity of Israel, the temple, wall, had come under disrepair and under prophets like Zechariah, Haggai and others the temple was rebuilt.
Nehemiah who was the Kings cupbearer after hearing of the condition of the wall around Jerusalem sought to do something about it. After finishing it the wall despite great opposition they had a dedication, 8:1, “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.” 5-8, “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” The reaction of the people must of took Ezra and Nehemiah off guard a bit, 9-10, “And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Interesting wording isn’t it, “The Joy of the Lord” the bible tells us that what happens when one sinner repents? Luke 15:7, “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
John 15:10-11, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” His Joy!
Joy is a powerful feeling, to those here who have experienced the birth of a child, there is much Joy.
Have you ever been around someone when they have repented of their sins, got Baptized in Jesus name and then became filled with the Holy Ghost? The excitement is indescribable!
But Joy is something pretty hard to have when you are in a trial, witnessing suffering in those around or in you. 1 Peter 1:7-9, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Even in struggles if you can someone just begin, somehow force yourself to start to praise God the Joy of the Lord will strengthen you.
The Joy of the Lord is your strength…
It is Joy unspeakable and full of glory…
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