The joy of the Lord is your strength.
We all want to have joy in our lives. But it seems to be an unattainable thing in our modern world. We’ve all heard this verse from Nehemiah a thousand times. But it has always left me wondering… What is the joy of the Lord? And how can I have it?
There are some people that we meet and just click with. We are connected to them right away and feel like we’ve known them for years. Then, there are some people in our lives that we have known for years and we are connected to them by our shared past. Both of these people give us a feeling of joy just by being around them. The thought of being separated from them brings us pain and the idea of not having them in our lives is unimaginable.
This is how God feels about us. We are the joy of the Lord! He sees us as the person that He clicks with and has a shared past with. And He desires to have a lasting and loving relationship with us.
But sin has separated us from God. It has kept us from having the meaningful relationship with Him that we were created for. So, God sent His Son, Jesus, to fill that gap for us.
Looking unto, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This verse from Hebrews is very clear. When Jesus died for our sins, He was focused on “the joy that was set before Him”. We are that joy! Jesus willingly faced the cross because of His joy in us. He came to fill the gap left by sin and to die in our place. He did it so that our relationship with God could be restored. Now, because of His sacrifice, sin no longer separates us from God. We are able to experience the joy of walking with God every day.
Joy, real joy, is an inner feeling of calm that is always there. We may not always see it in our everyday lives, but it is there underneath. Chaos and busyness take over sometimes. There are so many things to do, and so many people to talk to on a daily basis. The joy we once had from knowing God intimately becomes replaced by feelings of stress and not having enough time to get it all done. These are the moments when the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. We are able to seek refuge and draw strength from our relationship with God in the midst of our circumstances.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
When hard times hit, and they will, we can turn to God for the strength that we don’t have. He is always ready to give us protection from the world. He is always there to see us through it. And He is always there to restore the joy we are lacking.
We are the joy of the Lord! Once we learn this simple truth, our relationship with Him will flourish. We no longer have to face the hardships of life alone. We have a strong tower to turn to for our joy and strength.
I pray that you will understand how much God loves you. He can turn any circumstance around. He will give you the joy and strength that you are looking for.
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Connie Rowland is the creator of Master's Hand Collection, A series of Christian digital artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Join "In the Studio" for your Free Printable Artwork.
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