Trademark Joy September 22, 2017
Big Point: Remember, when God is silent it doesn’t mean He is absent.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our LORD. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem to help the exiles rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the walls of the captured land. Their losses had occurred because of national disobedience to God, and Nehemiah wanted to not only rebuild the city, but rebuild the hearts and faith of the people. After the walls had been rebuilt, the people gathered, and Ezra, Nehemiah’s colleague, read aloud to them from God’s Word. They were overwhelmed by hearing what God had to say, and how far astray they had gone. Their repentance was so deep and their grief so real that they began to weep aloud. Nehemiah comforted them and told them this was not a time to grieve—that they would find their strength in the joy of the Lord.
Joy is not happiness—it is far deeper, and not reliant on circumstances or surroundings. Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope. When a person has joy, they can make it through anything. The New Testament says that it was because of the joy that Jesus was able to endure the cross. The joy of the Lord is what creates strong souls.
The joy of the Lord is just that. It can’t be faked or manufactured. It comes from God in response to my earnest desire and humble request. God is anxious to fill me with joy—it not only is my strength, in hard times it is such an anomaly that it attracts attention and is contagious. It’s a witness to the power and trustworthiness of God.
21 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Prayer Directive
Pray for God’s Joy in My Life Today:
God, thank You for joy today! I pray that You would fill me fresh with the joy of the Lord. Help me to remember that joy is not based on what happens around me, but rather on what You are doing in my heart and my life. I pray that I would overflow with joy today. I pray they my joy would be contagious to those around me. Let joy from You show on my face. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Nehemiah 8:10, Romans 14:17, Galatians 5:22, 1 Peter 1:8-9
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