"The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Joy is more than just a warm, happy feeling you get when everything is going your way. It is so much more than that. Joy is one of the most powerful spiritual forces available to you as a Christian. Nehemiah 8:10 actually says joy is strength. The two are interchangeable according to this verse of scripture.
That is what makes joy so important. You can’t live a life of faith without being strong in the Lord. And God’s recipe for strength is spelled J-O-Y. Joy is not just a state of mind or a changing emotion. It is a very real force which the devil is powerless to defeat. Just as fear has to yield to faith, discouragement has to yield to joy.
Joy is listed in Galatians 5:22 as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. So that means if you are a Christian you have joy inside you. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us when we are saved and He makes available to us a God-like nature. Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example,] as well-beloved children [imitate their father.] This passage tells us as children of God we are to imitate Him. A godly nature is imparted to us at salvation. By that we have the amazing opportunity to walk supernaturally.
Though the character and nature of God is deposited in you at salvation, you must develop it in order to live by the power of it. How do you develop the godly characteristic of joy? You do it by speaking God’s Word over your life and believing God above your circumstances.
When everyone at work is getting laid off, you go to God’s Word and find promises for blessing and provision. Speak them over your life and make God’s Word the final authority in your work situation. Then, thank God for what He has promised in His Word regarding your life. Make a choice to think on what God says about your life. I guarantee you, the joy of the Lord will begin to roll around on the inside of you and you will have peace when others are experiencing discouragement and fear.
Joy can be present in your life in the midst of great trouble. And there is no greater witness to the power of God in this earth than a person who has unshakable joy and peace. Even if you have tears streaming down your face and a lump in your throat, you can say “Lord I trust you and I’m thankful that you always provide for me. Whether I see it right now or not, I know you are faithful.” That kind of prayer will cause your situation to change. That kind of trust is most pleasing to God.
Anyone can have joy when things are going well. But only those who know their God and what He says in His Word can experience joy in the midst of turmoil.
Scripture Meditation: Psalm 18:28-50
The Chapel Newsletter is written by Pastor John and Gwen Miller and is provided to encourage believers and challenge them to mature in their faith.