Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

God in us – Day 6

Joy in him strengthens

Bible text(s)

10Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who haven't enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don't be sad. The joy that the LORD gives you will make you strong.”

Nehemiah 8:10GNBOpen in Bible reader

In an earlier devotion, we concluded that joy is one of the characteristics of God’s rule in our lives. However, what happens when sickness, loneliness, sorrow or even your lifestyle smothers the joy in you?

In this eighth chapter of Nehemiah, we read that Israel came together to listen to the priest Ezra reading and explaining the law, so that they could understand the meaning of the words. They were so touched by the contents that they cried sorrowfully, but Ezra gently reprimanded them to rather be joyful and celebrate instead. Awkward? No, Ezra knew that listening to and understanding the word can open one’s eyes and ears to hear what God wants to say to one personally. That is reason enough to rejoice!

Sometimes though, you have to cry about what you hear and read in the Bible, because its contents speak to you – very often about issues in your life that needs to align itself to the truths in the word. If these issues cause remorse, you should confess and ask forgiveness without hesitation. After all, the Lord guarantees forgiveness! (1 John 1:9). Then, put it behind you and celebrate the revelation of the word in your life because now, like the Israelites, you can proclaim: This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.

The word of God also encourages us: for the lonely and broken hearted, the Holy Spirit is the Comforter; for those who worry, the Father is the Provider; for the person in pain, he is the healer and for those of little faith, Jesus is the beginning and finisher of their faith. In other words, the presence of the Triune God himself is our source of joy! This is enough reason to clap your hands and jubilantly raise your voice in a song of joyful praise!

You have all the reason to celebrate – he is sufficient for all your needs! Joy in the Lord does give you strength and protection!

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.15
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