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 
your strength. 

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, 
Handel did. 
   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 
benevolent causes. 
   When joy is present, Jesus Christ is expressed. [God's Little 
Devotional Bible] 

   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 
delightful, happy 
      women, or such an atmosphere of joy as they create. Mother 
Teresa, as  
      she is fond of explaining, attaches the utmost importance 
to this 
      joyousness. The poor, she says, deserve not just service 
and dedication, 
      but also the joy that belongs to human love. This is what 
the sisters 
      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 
sweet mayflower. 
   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