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What Is The Connection Between Joy And Strength?

Do you ever wonder why “the JOY of the LORD” gives us STRENGTH? Nehemiah 8:10 What’s the connection? I think we’d agree that when we are joyful about something, we DO feel strong. Think about the joyful occasions in your life—falling in love, the birth of a child, obtaining a job you wanted, moving into your dream home, etc. 

These joyful events are absolutely invigorating—and they can make us feel nearly invincible! 

But these joys fade pretty quickly, don’t they? 

And then…we need more and more to sustain the conquer-the-world euphoria—right? Even at our most basic level—like when we don’t have enough to eat—our BODY feels weak. We are designed with a body, soul, and spirit. And just like our body will never be satisfied with one meal, our soul—where we experience joy—also needs to be fed constantly. After we are born again, our soul and spirit are made alive in Christ. In fact, we have the ability to have the mind of Christ!

But what we feed the most—grows the most. We can’t expect our soul and spirit to grow STRONG by feeding ourselves the temporal things of this world. We must feed the spiritual part of us with God’s spiritual food and water. We must grow in our ability to sense His presence. It is in God’s presence we discover the kind of joy that gives us strength.

In God’s presence the joy we experience is ALWAYS enough

If you have no idea what I’m talking about—I completely understand! It’s taken many years of looking for God in all the wrong places for me to find Him in plain sight. He was there all along. Let’s take a look at the context in Nehemiah—from whence came this remarkable truth, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The Jewish nation had rebelled against God and their beloved city of Jerusalem had been burned to the ground by their captors. They were slaves. Led by God, Nehemiah requested of King Artaxerxes, that he be allowed to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. His request was granted, and against all odds, the captive Jews were allowed to go back to Jerusalem. After the miraculous rebuilding, one of the priests was reading the Word of God to them and they realized that despite the fact they had so brutally rejected God—He was still mercifully blessing them. The full weight of their sorrow for rejecting God’s ways caused them to weep:

“For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he [Nehemiah] 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 8:9-10

Nehemiah knew that their repentance was real and that they wholeheartedly desired to follow God more than they wanted to follow the wicked idols that had led them into captivity. He was reminding them of the JOY of God’s presence! This is what true repentance does—it causes us to DESPISE anything that separates us from His presence and enables us to enter into great joy! Repentance is a 180 degree turn from our own way to God’s ways. It is the key to our joy because we enter into HIS joy instead of having to settle for the temporal moments of happiness we experience with the things of this world.

When we’re in God’s presence, we experience His supernatural joy. Because God never changes, our joy in His presence is unshaken by our circumstances. To be unshaken is to be strong. Thus, “the joy of the Lord is our strength!” 

God’s joy is of Divine origin. 

Divine joy NEVER comes from lesser things like—sensuality, power, possessions, people or circumstances. When we grasp this truth, we lose our appetite for these unsatisfying things. We feed on God’s Holy presence instead! A hungry person is never strong! Charles Spurgeon wrote of possessing the strength of God’s joy:

‘His inner light makes him independent of the outward sun; his secret granaries make him independent of the outer harvest; his inward fountains place him beyond dread though the brook Cherith may dry up; he is independent of men and angels, and fearless of devils; all creatures may turn against him if they please, but since God himself is his exceeding joy, he will not miss their love or mourn their hate.”

(Sermon 1027, Dec. 31, 1871)

When we take the time to seek God and purify our lives from anything that separates us from Him, we experience the inner strength that comes from being completely satisfied by Him. We are strong because we are full of the joy of God’s glorious presence!

We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.

To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE.

Out Now – Essential Faith, Volume II. Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

To learn more about Kimberly Faith’s ministry Fostering By Faith, click HERE.

We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.

Whether you’re striving for clarity on a specific topic or aiming to deepen your understanding of God’s word, we offer a wealth of resources to support your journey.  Utilize our search engine to explore the topics that intrigue you and delve into the knowledge you seek.

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To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE.

Out Now – Essential Faith, Volume II. Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

To learn more about Kimberly Faith’s ministry Fostering By Faith, click HERE.

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