The Joy of the Lord is My Strength
I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. It seems like each day brings a slew of new disheartening headlines– terror, hate, a confused government. We say we want peace, but as I scroll through my social media feeds all I see is hate. How can we be united if we constantly bicker. I ponder the outcome as I watch my Christmas tree flicker with colorful lights and red bows will me to smile. It’s Christmas, I remind myself. The season of love, joy and peace is in our midst and we have replaced it with fear.
Horrible violence has played out in the world, but we are never going to conquer our fears and overcome hate if we don’t find joy, “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength,” says Nehemiah 8:10. I began reading more of this passage and leaned that the first part of this verse begins with “Do not grieve.” I feel like many of us our grieving a loss of security in our nation whether it be from our government officials or laws. Then I dug a little further in Nehemiah and discovered the history behind this verse. The Israelite’s were back in Jerusalem after living in captivity. The walls were built, and they were safe. Then Ezra began reading the Book of the Law, and the people began weeping. At first, I wondered why they were weeping? God brought them out of captivity, and they were safe; they should be dancing and rejoicing in God’s miraculous saving power. Yet, they were weeping and grieving their sins until their governor, Nehemiah proclaimed, “Do not grieve for the Joy of the Lord is Your Strength.”
We can not grieve this world any longer or listen to the lies of the enemy. Our strength comes from the Lord. We can not give up praying or seeking God. How can we expect God to fix our world if we don’t ask? Don’t be disillusioned; people are praying and seeking God. I am seeing professional football players pray with their opponents after games and strangers assembling for prayer gatherings. There is power in prayer, strength in the Lord, and joy,love and peace for everyone this holiday season and beyond.
What Bible verse resonates with you during times of grief?
- “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14.