THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH.

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Joy- according to Merriam Webstar dictionary, is defined as: “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.”
Many, today, confuse Joy with Happiness. While Happiness stems from events that bring you immediate happy feeling- like seeing your child graduate college, seeing your favorite sports team triumph, or receiving a gift from someone- joy is much more lasting. While the world can bring you temporal happiness, God gives you everlasting joy.
Taking a peek at Nehemiah 8, we see why Joy is a strength given to us by God.
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!”
Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)
The strength of the Lord makes joy crucial. You cannot have joy if your strength isn’t found in the Lord. If you look elsewhere for strength, you can be sure that the joy that you think you have isn’t the true joy but a counterfeit feeling that the world gives. As darkness has to give way to light, so it is with joy. Whenever there is joy in a room, sadness has to give way. Even on a torrid day, one should still feel the joy of the Lord. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect to be happy at all times, because happiness is just something that can be taken away in a matter of minutes. But as long as you have God, you can be joyous.
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
John 15:11 (NLT)
One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy, and since you already have Christ, that fruit is in you. But if that fruit isn’t watered daily, there is a good chance that the fruit wouldn’t grow. So, for your joy to grow, you have to express it daily. Show the world how joyful you are, and point to Christ as the source of your joy. Don’t let the devil steal your joy. In every circumstance, good or bad, try to feel the joy of the Lord. Hearing birds chirp and sing in the morning always bring me joy because I know that it is God performing His wonders. I always feel joy in the house of the Lord. Hearing the choir sing brings me joy because nothing beats the sound of people coming together in harmony to bring praise to my God.
I remember sometime in middle school, before going on an excursion tour of the museum, one of our teachers said to us that if one of us got lost in the museum, that the person should go back to the last place he saw everyone. That same concept can be used in finding your joy again in the Lord. If you feel that in the midst of you finding your way you lose the joy of the Lord, I urge you to go back to the last place you remembered having that joy. Whenever I feel downcast, I reach out to my music, because I find joy in listening to the praise and worship of the Almighty God.
It is the goal of the devil to see us downcast, pressed down, dismayed and destroyed, but your goal should be to disappoint him by finding that joy, even in the midst of the storm. If you have never experienced the joy of the Lord, just say a little prayer to God, telling him to give you that joy that the world can’t give. He has promised to hear our prayers if we approach Him with a sincere heart, and a willingness to do His will. Reach out to God today, He is just a prayer away. Be blessed!
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