Friday, April 18, 2008

Joy and Strength

Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord.”
(Nehemiah 8:9-10 Holman)

The way I usually read this verse is “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” As I read it this morning in the Holman version, it took on a deeper meaning. The joy comes from rejoicing and that leads to strength.

The rejoicing comes from focusing on God. I think a big part of it is thanksgiving. We remember all He has done for us and rejoice in that.

The opposite is when we focus on what we don’t have and how hard life is. The result is a bummer mood. We get down and soon weakness takes over.

I am thankful for so many blessings. I am thankful for a God who loves me and gave His life so I can be restored. I am thankful for the strength that He gives.

Philip

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