“The Joy Of The Lord Is Our Strength”

“The joy of the Lord is my strength!
The joy of the Lord is my strength!
The joy of the Lord is my strength!
The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
You may have heard that song or perhaps you’ve sung it. It’s a catchy little song… easy to remember..
But what does it mean?
“Well,” someone may say, “It means what is says… ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength.'”
Ok, again; that’s nice but what does it mean that “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
I mean.. think about the verse… “the joy of the Lord is my strength..” So, how do we get strength from the joy of the Lord?
In Ezra 8:10, Ezra told the people of Israel, “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
Ezra was trying to encourage the people of Israel… He was telling them that their strength would come from the Lord. How does that happen?
Well, life can be tough… life can hit us with a haymaker. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we wanted it to turn out. We lose jobs. We have health problems. The company is downsizing and we lose our job. Someone who is a friend lets us down. Stuff happens.        And, when “stuff happens” we can EASILY get dejected, rejected, discouraged, despondent. We can wallow in self-pity.
We can ask the Lord “Why?” but it doesn’t seem like the Lord is listening. We get no response or if we do, it’s not what we wanted to hear.
So, what do we do? This is where the joy of the Lord is our strength.
We draw fulfillment from the Lord. We draw satisfaction from the Lord.
Ok, how do we do that? Do we take a pill? Nope.
We pause and we may recite a scripture or two that we have committed to memory or… we may not recite anything… we may just pray and we ask the Lord to be our strength. We ask the Lord to fill us with the Holy Spirit. We ask the Lord to give us peace in the midst of the storm… and He does.
We may listen to a song and it ministers to us.
We may listen to or watch a sermon and it ministers to us.
We may read a book and it ministers to us.
We may go for a walk and we sense . a nudge from the Lord as a thought pops in our mind that gives us some encouragement.
I don’t want to be super-spiritual here. When bad things happen…. it’s tough… and it’s not always enough… at that moment, to remind ourselves “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Sometimes, it may take a few days.. maybe even weeks or months but eventually, the Holy Spirit breaks through and we are given strength that comes from our walk with the Lord.
I’ve had to learn this… and I’m still learning. When a call doesn’t come from a church… when you get a letter that although they appreciate your interest in a job, they are going in a different direction… the joy of the Lord is the only thing you have and you cling to it.
The song is right… “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

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