Sunday, December 20th
“When Joy is Strength”
Passage: Nehemiah 8:9-11
Pastor Rob Harding
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Joy is a remarkable thing. We find joy in a much-loved movie, a favorite song, a call from a good friend. Such joy can lift our spirits, turn our day around, and perhaps even keep a tear at bay when one begins to form. I’ve found, though, that the joy I find in such things does not have a truly lasting impact.
Not so with the joy Nehemiah points us to in today’s passage. He does not simply say “do not grieve but rejoice for God is good or for God loves you.” Instead, he takes things to another level with these words: rejoice always “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Perhaps you’ve had those moments, like me, when that deeper joy is made known for some reason, and when that happens, these words ring true. Worship perhaps points me in that direction most, a song or hymn or prayer leading me to realize that God’s joy, when truly embraced, will never be momentary, cannot be lost or overcome, but will only be strength to us if we’ll view it that way.
Seek out some joy today that truly comes from God, recognize it as such, and then consider what might help you to never lose sight of it so that His joy might give you strength daily.
Prayer: God, reveal Yourself once more to us as we consider the joy that only you can offer. May we find strength in it. Amen.