Monday, August 31, 2015

THE JOY OF THE LORD

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges
 
Then he 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 8:10


Bridgescreations, 2015
Do you know this little children’s chorus? 

The joy of the Lord is my strength...
the joy of the Lord is my strength...
The joy of the Lord is my strength...
The joy of the Lord is my strength!

He gives me living water and I thirst no more...
He gives me living water and I thirst no more...
He gives me living water and I thirst no more...
The joy of the Lord is my strength! 

There’s several more verses to this song and I hope that if you know it, it's not only running through your head but stuck inside your heart now. I have been singing it for days!

So what does it mean for the joy of the Lord to be our strength?
 
THE JOY OF THE LORD
Bridgescreations, 2015

(is my strength)

I’ve never sunk so low
that You could not find me
You have been my help and song
from everlasting to everlasting.
In sorrow I mourned and wept
unable to lift my grieving head
darkness cloaked and choked
any spark of Your perfect light.
Your words touched not a drop
of blood, vein or restless soul
staring into nothingness’s abyss
understanding
a widow’s kiss.
There must be something within
some attainable, endurable gem
perhaps if I plead my cause
You will bring me out of this fog.
Here Lord, I ask in humble tears,
for wisdom beyond my years
shower me with even a taste
of simple, merciful grace.

My Child, He said unto me
come sit upon My knee
give attention to my Words
listen, for this will set you free.
“Today is a day set a part
to receive the fruit of My heart
it is time to cease all mourning
it is time to come out of hiding.
Now eat, drink and be merry
so shall you rise up and not faint
it is now time for dancing and praise
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015, All Rights Reserved

It is time to cease mourning, it is time to come out of hiding, it is now time for dancing and praise


Bridgescreations, 2015
It means that no matter what our circumstances are, that they are never so dire that we cannot have some kind of hope and joy in the Lord. Matthew Henry says it this way, "...And even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it and prepare us for it...Even sorrow for sin must not grow so excessive as to hinder our joy in God and our cheerfulness in his service.”¹

Did you catch that? Even if the reason we are sorrowing is because we have sinned grievously, we still must not let that sorrow hinder us from being joyful in the Lord and being obedient to Him.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my past, in the wrongs I’ve done or maybe that I haven’t been the person I know God has wanted me to be that I become discouraged and easily, uncontrollably depressed thinking God cannot use me. How can He? But God says here, when we have understood His Scriptures to us, when we understand His teachings, and we understand His heart for where He wants us to be and what He wants us to do, then we must shake off this discouragement, take off our robes of mourning and turn our hearts to the Lord so we can be joyful in Him and walk in His strength.

“The better we understand the word of God the more comfort we shall find in it; for the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance and mistake. When the words were first declared to them they wept; but, when they understood them, they rejoiced, finding at length precious promises made to those who repented and reformed and that therefore there was hope in Israel.”¹

Are you feeling discouraged? Are you going through a period of "why me’s" and "what if’s"? Are you finding it hard to be joyful and to be obedient to God? Today, go to Jesus. Find comfort in His Word and words, then rejoice and be thankful. Because the joy of the Lord is your strength! 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie
 

For Further Meditation: 
Nehemiah 8:9-12; Psalm 30 (especially verses 11-12); Isaiah 51:11

¹Matthew Henry Commentary 

 Tweet: What does it mean the joy of the Lord is our strength? http://ctt.ec/VFTdg+ @Marcie_Bridges #joy #Jesus #trust What does it mean the joy of the Lord is our strength?

4 comments:

  1. I needed that encouragement to begin my week! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart!

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    Replies
    1. Praise the Lord! Thank you for the sweet words. :-)

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  2. I absolutely love that poem. Thank you Marcie. The joy of the Lord is my strength, indeed :)

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