Do we realize that the joy of the Lord is our strength? Do we understand that this joy is timeless and essential for God’s children?
Join us as we discover the importance of the joy of the Lord and how the faithfulness of God has and continues to bring Israel and us, joy!
Discovering the Joy of the Lord is Our Strength
How many times does God’s Word speak of joy? Of love? Where can we get the strength to overcome?
We all go through tests and trials that mold and shape us into the strengthened children of God we are created to be. Yet, it is not always easy to appreciate these times, even after the fact, let alone find the right attitude as we go through them…
God never allows us to experience tests and trials that are beyond what we can endure. Further, He actually provides us with countless ways to not only overcome them, but to actually thrive! God’s love is one of these, as are hope and faith. Still, one that we tend to overlook is joy…
Joy that is found in God and not subject to circumstances being perfect. This joy strengthens us, helps us see things through Heaven’s eyes, and provides us with the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God!
“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.’”—Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah 8:10 is a beautiful reminder of the importance of joy. Yet, it is interesting that in this hour, we can view this scripture afresh through an unusual method… the very numbers of the verse itself, because numbers have meaning in Jewish tradition. So, what do the numbers eight and ten mean?
Eight means new beginnings; ten means completion. The joy of the Lord is not only our new beginning, it brings completion!
We are in a new season. It is a new beginning for us. We are stepping out into the completion the Lord has laid before us. It is a time of joy, no matter our sorrows—for the joy of the Lord is our strength!
“Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.”—Nehemiah 12:43
Yet, God’s precious joy itself is not new. For God has given His joy to His children—to Israel—for thousands of years, and God Himself has possessed it beyond all count of years!
Joy Serves as a Weapon
The joy of the Lord is an incredible gift that each of us can receive… and it has many uses, both spiritually and physically. For instance, the joy of the Lord brings us strength as it aligns our mindset and our words with God’s. It teaches us about God, it acts as a magnet for people to discover where such joy is found—thereby directing people to God—and so much more!
Joy is a powerful weapon! The enemy fears the joy of the Lord, because if we are joyful in ALL circumstances, then what can anyone do to us that we will take notice of?
There is no fear when the joy of the Lord is our strength! There is no doubt of the Lord’s love and goodness when we are joyful, for we know that the Lord will keep His Word.
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Behold, I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.”—Numbers 23:19-20
The Lord is faithful and His faithfulness is a sign of His love! He is not a man that He should lie, so when He tells us hundreds of times to ‘shout for joy,’ to ‘rejoice,’ ‘be glad,’ ‘love,’ and ‘be joyful,’ then He means it!
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”—Jeremiah 15:16
The Benefit of Joy
There are untold benefits to following the Lord and many are meant for us here on earth!
One benefit is to know joy, to be able to be joyful and rejoice in our God! This is a tremendous gift which brings peace! And when we are joyful, it positions us to love ourselves and others. It allows us to know the Father’s love!
“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”—Psalm 32:10-11
Through the price Jesus paid, we are brought into fullness with God. We are no longer separated from our God. We are free! For within us the Holy Spirit was placed…
“Blessed are you when men hate you,
and when they exclude you,
and revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
for the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”—Luke 6:22-23
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”—Psalm 5:11
On May 14, 1948, Israel once again became a sovereign nation. For the people of Israel and many Believers around the world, this caused and continues to cause great rejoicing. People are remembering the love of their Father and are filled with great joy! They are remembering the prophecies spoken, which are being fulfilled before our eyes!
This joy began during the times of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob, who is also known as Israel, as God set in motion the covenant promise on which the nation of Israel is founded. And because of the faithfulness of God, that same joy continues to this day!
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”—John 15:11
The prophecies about the restoration of Israel and their fulfillment today show us how much God loves not only the nation, but the people.
Therefore, as children of God, we ought to celebrate this restoration of Israel and her covenant promise with rejoicing and joy. We ought to stir the Jews to jealousy in our joy so that they may see the manifestation of God’s Holy Spirit!
“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.”—Psalm 35:9
For when the Spirit falls upon Israel in fullness, she will arise as a light to the world and her joy will spring forth and give her renewed strength!
“The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.”—Esther 8:16
“Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!”—Zephaniah 3:14