Perhaps you have heard the words, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." But, where does that come from? Keep Reading...
Nehemiah 8:10 NIV - Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
These words were spoken after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt in Nehemiah's day. Ezra, the priest and scribe, brought out the Book of the Law and began to read it to the Israelites. As the Law was read, the Israelites began to weep. They were deeply convicted of all their failings.
It is in this context that Nehemiah called out, "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." That day of conviction through the reading of the Law was a sacred day - a day set apart for God. It was to be a day of joy.
When the conviction of God comes on you, do you walk around mourning? Does you gaze remain upon yourself because of all your shortcomings? Or do you reflect thanksgiving back to a good Father who disciplines his son? (Hebrews 12:9-10) Conviction is good! It should be a cause for celebration and joy.
Of course, the initial conviction of sin stings. It brings a great sorrow that we have grieved the heart of God. This godly sorrow is important (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). The Israelites in Nehemiah's day actually had time to grieve over their sin. But, it was the joy of the Lord that caused them to persevere to the other side of conviction.
The joy of the Lord will strengthen your resolve to repent. For God's purpose is that we will be restored, walking in the full power of the Holy Spirit. Today, choose a joyful response as God convicts you of sin. Thank him for fathering you. Joyfully choose to repent, resolving never to go back to your sinful ways.
Missionary. Teacher. Worship Leader. Deeply desiring to make God's Word accessible and understandable to all. May you be transformed as God's Word fills your life.
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