The Joy of the Lord
Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them, Go thy way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In other words, as they experienced this joy, and yielded to this joy; they would be strengthened in His Might.
This is to “be strong in the Lord and the power of His Might.” (Ephesians 6:10)

The need was great for Israel. They were back in the land, but enemies had and would keep trying to destroy their unity, and commitment to God’s Worship.

But here they had just had a service where the Law and books of Prophesy were read, and interpreted to the people.
They were excited to learn, but also, but saddened by the memory of their sin, which had sent them out of the land.

Their is a time to repent; and a time to rejoice in the goodness of God.
Now was the time to rejoice in the goodness of God.

We are called, as Christians, to have Christ’s Kingdom come with in our hearts and lives, now.
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The inward Kingdom of Heaven is set up in the hearts of all who repent and believe the Gospel.
And that Kingdom is none other than:
Romans14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Now joy is a choice instrument that God uses to work in a believing soul.

Joy and Peace are the true criteria to judge ourselves, spiritually.
When we are right with God, we have peace with God, and ourselves.
Joy follows.
Joy is a considerable help, not only to inward holiness, but also to outward holiness.
It strengthens our hands, to go on working in faith, and to labor in love.
It helps us to fight the good fight of faith; to lay hold on eternal life.

Joy is particularly designed by God to be a balance against the sufferings; inward and out; of our walk of faith.
It is meant to lift up the hands which hang down, and confirm the feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12).
There is a strengthening power in the joy of the Lord.

Therefore, whatever dampens our joy in the Lord, hinders our holiness.
The Devil would “throw water” on our joy, so that he would spoil our enjoyment of the things God gives…and if he could, the use of them too. When we get discouraged, or depressed, we begin to let down our shield of faith. The firey darts of the wicked one get through, when the shield is down.

When we get like that, we need to be exhorted to do, as Israel was told:
Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them, Go thy way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy and Happiness are not the same.
Each springs from a totally different source.

Happiness comes from the world around me. It is measured by what is happening to me. It is bound up in either the behavior of other people, to me; or the circumstances in which I will be, or am.

Joy comes directly from the Spirit of the Living God.
This joy springs from the Presence of God in my life. It is not dependent on people, places, or the situations in which I find myself; but rather from the Presence of God with me in any circumstances. (And don’t we find it so, that knowing that the Lord is with us, is a great blessing…always.)

Joy is one of the Attributes of God, which He shares with us. Joy runs like a sparkling river of great goodwill, through His make-up. He is the God of all Joy. He is alive. He is here.
That joy was the dynamic of the early Church.
And that can be the experience of all who truly allow God’s peace to rule in your hearts. When it does, joy follows.
Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Enthusiasm and deep delight in the Lord, are the characteristics of such a person.
There is direction in their duties, no matter how mundane or menial.
There is purpose in every area of their lives.
The Holy Spirit assures me that I am right with God, and because of that, an assurance that all is well even between me and myself, comes into my spirit.

This is to know the joy of the Lord, and it becomes a force in my life to dispel darkness and despair; to energize my life in my walk with God.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. We need it, and He has it for us.

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