Nehemiah 8:10b - The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength.
Nehemiah 8:10b - The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength.
Nehemiah 8:10b (NIV) Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is
The joy of the Lord is the joy that springs up in our hearts
because of our relationship to the Lord. It is a God-given gladness
found when we are in communion with God. [Nelson SB]
After hearing the Book of the Law, the Israelites wept
because they realized how far they had strayed from God. Instead of
chastising them further, Nehemiah gave them hope. This was not a sad day;
this was a holy day to celebrate. God was working in their hearts.
"Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!"
We can learn a few important lessons from this Old Testament
scene: (1) God's Word is powerful and helps us see ourselves as we
really are--sinners who need to turn from our sin back to God. (2)
Seeing ourselves as we really are is pretty depressing at times. We
often can feel like failures. No joy there. (3) God never leaves us in
our guilt and shame! Once we have turned back to him, he forgives
and restores our relationship with him.
God's love and forgiveness are great cause for joy. At times
in your Christian life, you will stray from God. During those
times, turn to the Lord and tell him you're sorry. Then wipe your eyes
and be joyful. God has work for you to do! The joy of the Lord is
your strength! [The One Year Bible for New Believers re Neh. 8:9-11]
The powerful exposition of the Word of God can bring deep
conviction of sin. But repentance must not degenerate into a self-centered
remorse but must issue into joy in God's forgiving goodness (cf. 2 Cor
2:5-11). [Expositors Bible Commentary]
The people wept openly when they heard God's laws and realized
how far they were from obeying them. But Ezra told them they should
be filled with joy because the day was holy. It was time to
celebrate and to give gifts to those in need. Celebration is not to be
self-centered. Ezra connected celebration with giving. This gave those in need
an opportunity to celebrate as well. Often when we celebrate and
give to others, we are strengthened spiritually and filled with joy.
Enter into celebrations that honor God, and allow him to fill you with
his joy. [Life Application SB]
Handel's masterpiece, The Messiah, has inspired millions
through the centuries. Few know, however, that George Frederick Handel
composed The Messiah in approximately three weeks. The music literally
came to him in a flurry of notes and motifs. He composed feverishly,
as if driven by the unseen Composer. It is also little known that
Handel composed the work while his eyesight was failing or that he was
facing the threat of debtor's prison because of outstanding bills. Most
people find it difficult to create under stress, especially when
physical or financial problems are the root of that stress. And yet,
He credits the completion of the work to one thing: joy. He
was quoted as saying that he felt as if his heart would burst with
joy at what he was hearing in his mind and heart. It was joy that
compelled him to write, forced him to create, and ultimately found
expression in the "Hallelujah Chorus."
Handel lived to see his oratorio become a cherished
tradition. He was especially pleased to see it performed to raise money for
When joy is present, Jesus Christ is expressed. [God's Little
Mother Teresa advised, "The best way to show our gratitude to
God is to accept everything with joy. Never let everything so fill
you with sorrow that you forget the joy of Christ risen."
She instructed others as if joy were a matter of the will -
and she was very practical about it. "Being happy in Jesus means
loving as he loves, helping as he helps, giving as he gives, serving as
he serves, rescuing as he rescues, being with him twenty-four
hours, touching him in his distressing disguise."
Jesus' "distressing disguise" - a phrase Mother Teresa often
used - describes people who are wretched and abandoned, and perhaps
Does all this sound grim and not happy at all? Here's what
Malcolm Muggeridge said of Mother Teresa and her sisters:
Their life is tough and austere, yet I never met such
women, or such an atmosphere of joy as they create. Mother
she is fond of explaining, attaches the utmost importance
joyousness. The poor, she says, deserve not just service
but also the joy that belongs to human love. This is what
give them abundantly.
Andrew Greeley had a similar reaction to meeting Mother
Teresa: "She was the happiest human being I ever met."
Mother Teresa herself said, "Cheerfulness is indeed the fruit
of the Holy Spirit and a clear sign of the Kingdom within."
She was determined to be happy in the Lord despite feelings
of emptiness - a paradox worth contemplating. She warns against
being preoccupied with the future. "There's no reason to do so," she
writes. "God is there."
She also warned against the longing for money that can bring
endless "needs" and dissatisfaction. In this regard, she was far beyond
most of us. "Poverty makes us free," she said to her sisters. "That
is why we can joke and smile and keep a happy heart for Jesus."
Father, please enable me to experience the joy you offer.
Help me to act and think in ways that generate your cheerfulness - in
step with your Holy Spirit, no matter what my feelings might be.
Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your
strength! Nehemiah 8:10, NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold
The greenest grass is found wherever the most rain falls. So
I suppose it is the fog and mist of Ireland that makes it "the
Emerald Isle." And wherever you find the widespread fog of trouble and
the mist of sorrow, you always find emerald green hearts that are
full of the beautiful foliage of the comfort and love of God.
Dear Christian, do not say, "Where are all the swallows? They
are all gone-they are dead." No, they are not dead. They have simply
skimmed across the deep, blue sea, flying to a faraway land; but they
will be back again soon.
Child of God, do not say, "All the flowers are dead-the
winter has killed them, so they are gone." No! Although the winter has
covered them with a white coat of snow, they will push up their heads
again and will be alive very soon.
O believer, do not say that the sun has burned out, just
because a cloud has hidden it. No, it is still there, planning a summer
for you; for when it shines again, it will have caused those clouds
to have dropped their April showers, each of them a mother to a
Above all, remember-when God hides His face from you, do not
say that He has forgotten you. He is simply waiting for a little
while to make you love Him more. And once He comes, you will rejoice
with the inexpressible "joy of the Lord" (Neh. 8:10). Waiting on Him
exercises your gift of grace and tests your faith. Therefore continue to
wait in hope, for although the promise may linger, it will never come
too late. Charles H. Spurgeon [Streams In The Desert By Cowman]
"Four Days Late" By Karen Peck & New River