STRENGTH FROM JOY by Wisdom Hunters
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Believers in Jesus find joy and strength in their Savior. Joy begins with God, because we are created for His enjoyment, and He for our enjoyment. Just as a husband and wife find great pleasure in a marriage of growing commitment and love, so an overflow of joy comes to a committed Bride of Christ. Strength is the fruit of this quality of relationship. Security and peace support a cheerful heart. Joy is the attitude of all who bow to Almighty God in worshipful awe.
Any cynical soul can focus on a cow patty in a luscious green pasture. Ironically, it’s the cow patties that grow the green grass. In the same way, we can count it all joy for the trials that grow our faith. We find strength in the Lord during severe circumstances. He brings a smile to our heavy hearts. The drought of grief is for a season, followed by heaven’s rain of happiness. A joyful disposition awaits us, when we wait on Christ. His enjoyment creates internal energy.
“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:4-5).
Furthermore, the memories of meaningful experiences with other Christ followers bring joy and strengthen our faith. We celebrate answered prayers for our children to grow in God’s grace and make wise choices. We thank the Lord for the rich community of honesty, shared emotions, love, forgiveness and laughter. We muse on hard truths like hell and the joylessness that accompanies disobedience to Jesus. Sustaining strength comes from the joy of an intimate faith fellowship.
Lastly, we put our hope in the Lord, who richly provides us everything we need for our enjoyment. We need not feel guilty for the blessings of good health, a loving family, a solid job, fun friends, financial freedom or a dynamic church. We gratefully enjoy Christ’s favor. However, what keeps us grounded in God’s strength is not putting our hope in anything but Him. He is our generous Heavenly Father who gives good gifts. Hope is heaven’s strategy for strength and joy!
“Put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my strength and joy come from Your Spirit, not from my stuff.
Related Readings: Psalm 19:8; Isaiah 35:10; Luke 10:21; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Philemon 1:7