The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength
February 17, 2011 Leave a comment
As a writer the hardest thing to do is condense thoughts down short enough that visitors to a blog will read it.
Nehemiah 8:10 says The joy of the Lord is your strength. When I read this it left me a little confused. Is it the Lord’s joy. Is it the joy He gives me? Who posses the joy and benefits from that joy? If He has joy, does that give me strength? If I have joy, is it the joy that brings me strength? I love questions.
I delivered a message one day before my church explaining what joy was. Yes I went the Jesus first, Others second, You last route. But I wrapped it up with my definition of Joy. Joy is simply an attitude. It can’t be altered like feelings can. Jesus felt joy before enduring the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Paul had joy in prison. It’s obvious by these examples that joy is not expressed due to circumstances.
Our placement in eternity is due to the sacrifice of Jesus, and the coverage of His blood along with faith through grace so we can have a joyful attitude.
So it still leaves me wondering who has the possession of joy that brings us strength. If God possesses the joy, then it would go to say that in order to make God joyful, we must be strong in our obedience. If we obey, God possesses joy.
On the flip side it is our joy that brings us strength through God. God anoints us with joy and because we have joy, we are made strong to endure through obedience.
If given my opinion I would have to look at context and say the latter. The people were being rebellious to God so Nehemiah had the law read out loud before the people. A little conviction if you would. Kinda reminds me of the republicans reading the Constitution upon taking power in the house in 2010. But I digress.
The Israelites had removed themselves so far from God it took the reading of the law to convict and bring them to repentance. But Nehemiah said to eat the fat, drink the sweet and take to those who have none, for this is a day not of sorrow but of celebration for this day was holy to the Lord.
They had joy! The fact that they had joy brought to them strength. Joy is an attitude of knowing we are in right standings with God. Knowing that we are being obedient brings joy. With that joy is our strength to continue on in obedience.
What do you think. What does it mean to you when you read: The joy of the Lord is our strength?