The joy of the LORD is your strength.
– Nehemiah 8:10
Is life pressing in on you lately?
Have you been feeling weak in your faith? Are you tired of the daily onslaughts on your family, your faith, and your work?
You’re in good company. But how do believers find strength for a new day filled with old problems?
God tells us we are renewed when we find joy in Him. There are over 200 references to the word “joy” in the Scriptures, depending on your version. Here are a few of those Scriptures:
Keep on rejoicing.
– 1 Peter 4:13
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
– Romans 12:15
O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy.
– Psalm 47:1
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
– Philippians 4:4
To rejoice is a choice.
There’s one thing common to all these Scriptures. They’re all written in the imperative, meaning the “You” is understood, and they are commands.
You rejoice. You consider it all joy. You shout to God with the voice of joy.
The call to joy is a command. Our response requires a decision.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22)
Jesus promised them a joy that could never be stolen from them. If we have a joyless life, then, it’s because we have chosen not to celebrate the gift He has given. We carry it around unopened in our hands day after day.
We show it to people and tell them, “See, God has given me joy.”
It becomes a burden, another duty to carry around to prove how Christian we are. Then we get too tired to even pretend, so we just set it on a shelf next to our Bibles, gathering dust.
This gift was meant to be opened.
Dived into. Rolled around in. Given a chance to percolate in our bones, strengthen the inner man, and infuse us with new life.
Feeling weak today? Set your burdens down and open your gift.