Joy. Such a small word, yet it holds incredible meaning.
Most likely, we each view joy as important, but what makes it important enough to be included throughout the Word? Why are we told to be joyful? Why do we say that the joy of the Lord is my strength?
Join us as we explore why joy is important and why each of us need to choose to walk out each season in it!
Finding Joy in Every Season
How many times does God’s Word speak of joy? Of love? Where can we find the strength to overcome?
In past years, months, weeks, and even days, many of God’s people around the world 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. Additionally, God’s Word shows us His love time and time again. However, we often wonder, where is our strength to overcome? How can we be joyful in our present circumstances? Is it almost wrong to laugh and be joyful when there is so much hurt?
It is in trials that we have to look to the Lord in order to find true joy, love, and strength in Him. To remember that all we need can be found in God.
“…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 (emphasis added)
The bolded section above of Nehemiah 8:10 is well known and often quoted. Yet, it is interesting that in this hour we might look at it anew…
In Jewish tradition, all numbers have meaning, and while they can be interpreted in 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 into the completion that 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!
“…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
The Significance of “the Joy of the Lord is My Strength”
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? What can take away our peace?
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. That God is true!
“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,’ to ‘be glad,’ to ‘love,’ to ‘be joyful,’ then He means it! He knows that it is for our good…
“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
How Obedience and Joy are Connected
There are untold benefits tied to following the Lord, and many are meant for us here on earth! One of these is to know the joy of the Lord—His joy causes us to not only be joyful in all circumstances, but to rejoice in Him. This is a tremendous gift that brings peace. Further, when we are joyful, it positions us to love and to know the Father’s love… accepting God’s gifts and walking in His ways!
“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 (emphasis added)
Through the price Jesus paid, Jew and Gentile are brought into the fullness of God. We are no longer separated from the Lord; we are accepted as part of His family, free and blessed with the Holy Spirit in us!
“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 (emphasis added)
Just as John did when Jesus came near—both still within the womb—we should leap for joy! We are within a hair’s-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!
“…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 God’s Word is fulfilled, we will show the Lord’s love! As when the Holy Spirit set upon those in the upper room, it is time for us to be newly aflame for God—for this is a new day, it is the third-day, and the anointing of the Lord must be greatly upon us.
Therefore, let us be a light, a beacon of joy!
Let us say, the joy of the Lord is my strength!
“…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
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”—John 15:11“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.”—Psalm 35:9