How many times does God’s Word speak of joy? Of love? Where can we find the strength to overcome?
In the past months, weeks, and even days, many of God’s people have known hardships and sorrows seemingly beyond measure. Grief is indeed a thing known; yet, repeatedly God’s Word speaks of joy and of being joyful. In His Word, God shows us His love time and time again. Still, oftentimes we wonder where is our strength to overcome? How can we be joyful in our present situation? Isn’t it almost wrong to laugh and be joyful when there is so much hurt?
It is in these times of trials where we have to look to the Lord to find our joy, love, and strength in Him.
“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 well known and often quoted. Yet, it is interesting that in this hour we might look at it in a new way.
In Jewish tradition all numbers have meanings, and while they can be interpreted in a various ways, the numbers of this verse have one meaning that holds to the hour we are in.
Eight means new beginnings; ten means completion. We are in a new season and 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 indeed 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
Joy is a powerful weapon! The enemy fears the joy of the Lord, because if we are joyful in ALL circumstances 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.”
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,’ to ‘be glad,’ ‘to love,’ to ‘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
There are untold benefits to following the Lord and many are meant for us here on earth! One benefit is to know joy, and to be able to be joyful and to rejoice in Him in all circumstances. This is a tremendous gift that brings peace. When we are joyful it puts us into position to love and 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!”
Through the price Jesus paid, we, Jew and Gentile alike, are brought into fullness with God. We are no longer separated from 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.”
As John did when near his cousin Jesus—both still within the womb—we should leap for joy! We are within a hairs-breadth of the Lord which is, no matter the trials, a cause for joy and rejoicing! His love has found us—the Father’s love has found us!
“For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” —Luke 1:44
This new day is one in which to rejoice! The harvest is white, it is ready to be gathered. Let us provoke the world to jealousy so that they may be saved. Through joy and love beyond earthly reason we will provoke them! As the world sees our joy through adversity they will be driven to jealousy. As the Word is fulfilled we will show His love! We will beam like the sun when the Holy Spirit which set upon the disciples of Jesus in the upper room sets upon us in a new, glorious way—for this is a new day, it is the third-day, and the anointing of the Lord must be greatly upon us. Let us be a light, a beacon of joy!
“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
This year we enjoy the 70th anniversary of Israel as a sovereign nation in modern times, and the people of Israel are rejoicing in that freedom. They are remembering the love of their Father and are filled with great joy! They are remembering the ancient prophecies spoken that are being filled before their very eyes.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” —John 15:11
Let us celebrate this year with rejoicing and joy. Let us provoke the Jews to jealousy so that they may see the manifestation of God’s Holy Spirit. When the Spirit falls upon Israel she will arise as a light to the world, her joy will spring forth and give her 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
Here at Curt Landry Ministries we believe that, as One New Man in Messiah, we are here to not only be a light to the world, but particularly to Zion. Through our Israel’s 70th Project we are bringing joy to the land and people of Israel, and YOU can help! By joining us in this project you can sponsor the planting AND care of an olive tree in Israel. In doing this you will help renew the land and fulfill biblical prophecy, giving jobs and life for generations to come! Let us bring joy to God’s people and ourselves in turn!
“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.” —Psalm 35:9