May 20, 2015

Nehemiah's Strength


The story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem after the Israelite kingdoms had fallen and were taken into captivity is full of valuable lessons that have taught me a lot about prayer and persistence and believing God will provide and take care of us. 

One of my favorite verses emerges from this story. Nehemiah 8:10b For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

I think for Nehemiah, he lived this verse and it is why he accomplished all that he did.

While in captivity and in the king’s court as a cupbearer, the joy of the Lord was his strength.

When he diligently prayed for months and sought God concerning what to do about the report of the broken walls and gates in Jerusalem, the joy of the Lord was his strength.

When he risked his very life and courageously asked King Artaxerxes if he could go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, the joy of the Lord was his strength.

When he asked King Artaxerxes for all the supplies and everything he would need to do the job, the joy of the Lord was his strength. 

When he surveyed the damage to the walls and devised a plan, the joy of the Lord was his strength. 

When Nehemiah and his group of workers were ridiculed for their efforts and threatened with trouble, the joy of the Lord was his strength. 

When Nehemiah armed the workers with swords in one hand while rebuilding, the joy of the Lord was his strength. 

When the work was finished and everyone in the city gathered to worship the Lord and be thankful for the job that was done in rebuilding the walls, Nehemiah admonished the entire congregation with the words of Nehemiah 8:10.

Is God the source of your joy? Is He the source of your strength? I want to pray these words for you today: May the joy of the Lord be your strength.