Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Joy of the Lord

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

I have not posted in a while and I have no real excuse. I guess with everything else I have been settling into I have yet to find and commit to a time to write. Hopefully Thursday will be a good day to commit to writing.

A scripture that has been meditating on and chewing over is Nehemiah 8:10. The words at the end of this passage are speaking louder and clearer to me at this time. The joy of the Lord of my strength. I have read this bit of the verse over and over. I thought it meant that God is always joyful and Him being joyful is what gives me strength, which is true but not in the way I thought. I always thought there had to be something else that this verse was saying.

Let me explain. If the fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control and Jesus says He gives us peace and not to be afraid in John 14:27 then doesn't that mean by sending us Holy Spirit we have these fruits? We have God's love, joy, peace, patience etc. inside us.

What I didn't realise was that the joy of the Lord isn't external but internal. I have His joy living in me and it is this that gives me strength to say it is well with my soul. His joy is what allows me to praise Him despite what is happening in my life.

This joy that we have gives us not only strength but courage and boldness. We can be bold, courageous and strong like lions. We need not fear or allow our emotions to rule our lives. Happiness, sadness, fear, anger are not permanent. One minute I can be angry and the next I can be sad. Today I could be fearful yet tomorrow I could be happy until I stub my toe on something. But the of Joy of the Lord is permanent. 

I am thankful that God is always there for me not just when I call out to Him. Like the Lion in this picture He is always singing over me and laughing over me. He rejoices when He sees me taking my first wobbly little steps in my art. He sees me trying to puzzle out His plan for me and He rejoices over you too. He sees what you go through. He sees your successes and your mistakes but He rejoices when you get back up and try again. Success is all about using you mistakes as a ladder to your promise.

Isn't it amazing that He doesn't let us fight out fears alone but that He gives us the joy so that we will be strong enough to overcome and succeed. 

Lord I thank you for your Joy in my heart. I thank you that even when I feel like there is nothing left in me I can still open my mouth and praise you and joy floods my soul and gives me the strength I need to get up and try again. I pray for joy to flood each and every one of Your people who are reading these words and bring a refreshing to their hearts and strength to every part of their being.

Have a blessed week and I will commit to writing once a week again as I enjoy it so much and I always have so much to say.