“The joy of the Lord is your strength” and “I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Nehemiah 8:10 and Habakkuk 3:18, NIV
The experience of real joy is unique to believers in the living God. It is His joy within our hearts that empowers and strengthens us to live God-anointed and blessed lives. This was a lesson that Nehemiah had learned on the job of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and without which he would more than likely have been unable to finish the job in the face of ridicule and opposition from the enemies of God’s people.
How do we get that joy? By truly knowing the Lord and walking in His ways. And how do we keep that joy? By keeping close to the Lord day be day. Listening for His gentle voice of direction and encouragement. Turning steadfastly away from the temptations that the enemy never ceases to put before our paths. And by maintaining an attitude of praise and thanksgiving to Him for both who He is and for all that He has done.
Habakkuk had learned that whatever the circumstances of life that God is to be trusted – and even when things are tough and provision for his needs was in short supply, he knew that the Lord was still his source of inner life and strength, the very root of his salvation. He did not turn away from God or allow a root of anger or bitterness grow up to rob him of his joy.
Joy is an experience that we can have in the inner recesses of our hearts even through hard times, and it is that joy which acts like an inner river of blessing to keep us sustained each and every day of our lives.
Prayer: Thank You Lord for the river of blessing which flows into our hearts from Yours. Thank You that we can be joyful in You, even when going through tough times. Help me never to cease praising You whatever the circumstances of life and for the inner joy which you have promised will be my strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.