Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV)
Nehemiah reveals an astonishing truth about joy—joy is not merely an issue of being happy in life but also a determinant of spiritual vitality and health. Joy is strength, and sorrow is weakness. This devotional examines the profound truth hidden in the words “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The “joy of the Lord is your strength” means the joy that comes from God makes us strong. I have written several devotionals on spiritual strength, describing what it is and why it is crucial for us. Spiritual strength, a form of expression of the power of the Holy Spirit in us, is not for performing miracles. Instead, it is the ability to be or do what God requires of us. For example, it takes spiritual strength to believe God’s Word, love people, maintain your peace in challenging situations, forgive amid pain, understand the Word of God, etc. Similarly, the strength of our hearts makes us bold and brave to face challenges without collapsing. In summary, spiritual strength is the ability to operate in spiritual matters.
The joy of the Lord is the strength of our hearts! Joy makes us strong; it empowers our hearts to operate in spiritual things, as described above. The state and condition of the human spirit are directly affected by joy. Solomon said:
“A happy heart is a good medicine, and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 AMP)
Joy in the heart revives, refreshes, strengthens, and vitalizes other parts of our lives, from our minds, emotions, and desires to our bodies. Conversely, the absence of joy, sorrow, or depression, not only weakens our hearts but “dries up the bones .”Our hearts and bodies deteriorate when joy is absent while sadness or depression prevails. It is, therefore, evident God did not create us to be sorrowful creatures. We thrive in joy and dry up in sorrow.
Satan has his eyes on our joy for apparent reasons. Once he takes away our joy, he indirectly weakens us and makes us more susceptible to his attacks. Therefore if Satan is planning an attack against us, he might send a driver on the highway to work to irritate us and suppress our joy so that by the time we get to work, we are more liable to his attack! Don’t let the enemy have his way! Protect your joy jealously; guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life!
In conclusion, God’s joy in your heart is your strength. Maintaining your jour is strengthening yourself spiritually.
What is joy?
Apply the Word
Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” Joy is a weapon to strengthen your heart spiritually. Protect it, for the enemy, will often start by attacking our joy to weaken us.
Ask the Spirit to help yo bear an abundance of the fruit of joy and to protect that fruit from the Satanic onslaught.