September 16, 2018

Start with JOY!


Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Shortly after waking up this morning, while still rubbing the fog out of my eyes and reaching out to pet our cat that had just jumped on the bed, these words suddenly came to me. The joy of the Lord is your strength!

Words said by Nehemiah to the Israelite people who had returned to their land from captivity to rebuild the walls around the ravaged city of Jerusalem. He declared these words following the reading of the Law (Nehemiah 8:1-11) to the people by Ezra after the wall had been rebuilt under his leadership and God’s guidance.

My waking thoughts were not focused on the totality of detailed events in the book of Nehemiah. My thoughts were focused on the word JOY as it sprung into my heart! When I woke up, my thoughts turned to the Lord and the joy I have in Him!

What a great way to start a day with this focus on the Joy of the Lord! And, this verse also declares this joy equals strength!

Nehemiah had fully experienced firsthand God being his strength for the daunting task of rebuilding the walls. So when he says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” he could genuinely attest to this truth for he had just lived it out.

Are you living out this truth? Is God your joy? Is He your strength? May your joy and strength be found in Him today!