The Joy of the Lord is our Strength

Joy, as a strength, that sounds almost absurd.  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10

The Joy that God give us, his children is not something that we can manufacture, or run after, but a feeling of deep joy within us, that no matter the circumstances, we can be joyful and content in the lord. That Joy strengthens us through the toughest situations, it helps us to not panic, but know that our confidence does not come from outside influences but from a deep inner strength, that God is with us and we are ok.

Many people, both Christian and non-Christian often try to manufacture joy in their lives, they go on expensive trips, buy big houses, nice cars, the best clothing, eat at the right places, have their kids in the right schools etc. The marketers of our time have clued into this need within people to feel happy and market their goods aggressively with the underlying message that their product, or thing, or place is what is going to make you happy. They advertise people enjoying the various products that they are selling, and because we are all so desperate for some peace and happiness we buy into the fantasy.

In my experience and from what I read in the bible, the only time anyone will ever truly feel and experience true joy and peace is when the lord gives it to you. When he does, you find that you no longer need to run after what everyone around you is running after, you are joyful and content with whom you are what you are, what you have and what you are doing.

So, how do we as Christians experience this kind of Joy, well it is simple really, the bible tells us that Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and if you are a Christian you have the Holy Spirit within you. If you have not yet made that commitment to God, I urge you not to delay, but pray this simple prayer with me right now.

Heavenly father, I believe that you sent your son Jesus Christ to this earth; I believe that he died on the cross to set the people free from death. I want to make Jesus Lord of my life from this moment on, fill me with your Holy Spirit I pray so that he can help me to live a life that is pleasing to you always. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Now my dear brother or sister in Christ, welcome to the family!

Now that the Holy Spirit is living within you, he will set about working in your life and bringing forth a fruitful harvest, in other words, he will enable you to be joyful, have peace, walk in love, be patient and long suffering, be kind and be filled with his goodness, you will be faithful and gentle and be able to exercise self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 

I was reading a wonderful book recently called, Break Through Prayer, by Jim Cymbala. In this book he has a chapter that is dedicated to the subject of joy and what it does for a believer; I will share a few excerpts that really encouraged me.

If we are going to walk victoriously by faith, we must maintain a daily spirit of Joy in the Lord.

Trust and joylessness cannot coexist for very long. The positive effects of Joy reach to the very perimeter of our being. “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” – Proverbs 15:13

Glum and despondent believers should be sued for false advertising – Jesus Christ is far greater than they are letting on.

Remember Real Joy is not mere “happiness” a feeling that fluctuates with our circumstances. Rather it is a deep inner delight in God that only the Holy Spirit can produce. This divine joy is more than medicine. It is our strength! “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10

Proverbs 17:22

“A joyful heart is good medicine but a broken spirit dries up the bones”

Although Joy is vital for our wellbeing we rarely pray for it. Believing, praying Christians should be filled with the Joy of the Lord!

A simple prayer like this”

Father, I ask in Jesus Name, that you will produce the fruit of your joy within my heart. Help me to be overflowing with it, knowing that no matter the circumstances I might be in, your joy will be my strength. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Pastor Jim Cymbala, then gave some reasons that every Christian has for being joyful, no matter the circumstances.

Now, I want to give you some great reasons for being joyful:

  – With God, all our sins have been completely erased through the blood of Jesus

  – There is no record of even one transgression against us before a holy God.

  – Our names have been written in the Lamb’s book of Life

  – Christ has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven, where we will spend eternity with him.  

  – Which means, for instance, that the worst a terrorist can do is transfer us into our father’s arms.

  – The lord has promised never to leave or forsake us while we live here on earth.

  – God has given the Holy Spirit as our comforter and his word to guide us into his arms.

  – God has promised to supply all of our needs and hear us when we pray.

With all of this in our favor, how can we trudge through life with a gloomy spirit? This is Possible, because it is God who supplies this joy to us supernaturally. It is not some hyped up happiness that sustains us despite the trials we may pass through.

Remember, when we are full of God’s joy, every ordinary day becomes a happy celebration of his goodness.

Proverbs 15:15

“all the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast” 15:15

Always remember, the world with all of its shallow entertainments cannot satisfy our spiritual need for God. Only God can do that, I know that I have sought the world’s entertainment to satisfy that deep longing in my heart, but all it does, it leaves us devastated and hopeless.

Therefore brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to encourage you to examine your heart and your attitude and your heart, are you truly living a joyful life or are you walking around like the world owes you and you are miserable. The good news is that you do not have to stay in that place.

Ask the lord for a fresh infilling of his joy today, become a new walking advertisement for the great things the lord has done for you.

This is my prayer for you today,

Romans 15:13

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Filed under: Discipleship