Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Joy of the Lord

Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them,  Go thy 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.”

In other words, as they experienced this joy,  and yielded to this joy; they would be strengthened in His Might.

This is to “be strong in the Lord and the power of His Might.” (Ephesians 6:10)

The need was great for Israel.  They were back in the land, but enemies had and would keep trying to destroy their unity, and commitment to God’s Worship.

But here they had just had a service where the Law and books of Prophesy were read, and interpreted to the people.

They were excited to learn, but also saddened by the memory of their sin, which had sent them out of the land; and of the trouble they were having now.

There is a time to repent;  

and a time to rejoice in the goodness of God.

Now was their time to rejoice in the goodness of God.

We are called, as Christians, to have Christ’s Kingdom come with in our hearts and lives, now.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The inward Kingdom of Heaven is set up in the hearts of all who repent and believe the Gospel.

And that Kingdom is none other than:

Romans14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;  but righteousness,  and peace,  and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Now joy is a choice instrument that God uses to work in a believing soul.

Joy and Peace are the true criteria to judge ourselves, spiritually.

When we are right with God, we have peace with God, and ourselves.

Joy follows.

Joy is particularly designed by God to be a balance against the sufferings; inward and  out;  of our walk of faith.

It is meant to lift up the hands which hang down, and confirm the feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12).

There is a strengthening power in the joy of the Lord.

Therefore, whatever dampens our joy in the Lord,  hinders our holiness.

The Devil would “throw water” on our joy, so that he would spoil our enjoyment of the things God gives…and if he could,  the use of them too.  

When we get discouraged, or depressed,  we begin to let down our shield of faith.  The firey darts of the devil get through, when the shield is down.  We are wounded.

When we get like that, we need to be exhorted to do, as Israel was told:

Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them,  Go thy 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.”

Joy and Happiness are not the same.

Each springs from a totally different source.

Happiness comes from the situations around me.  It is measured by what is happening to me.   It is bound up in either the behavior of other people, to me;  or the circumstances in which I am.

Joy comes directly from the Spirit of the Living God.

This joy springs from the Presence of God in my life.   It is not dependent on people, places, or the situations in which I find myself;  but rather from the Presence of God with me in any circumstances. 

(And don’t we find it so, that knowing that the Lord is with us, is a great blessing…always.)

Joy is one of the attributes of God that He shares with us.  Joy runs like a river of goodwill, through His make-up.  And He wants to share that with us.

He is the God of all Joy.  

He is alive.  He is here.    That joy was the overflowing of power in the early Church.  

And that can be the experience of all who truly allow God’s peace to rule in your hearts.  When it does, joy follows. 

Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

Purpose and deep delight in the Lord, are the characteristics of such a person.

There is direction in our duties, no matter how ordinary.

There is purpose in every area of our lives;   for we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit within and that lifts me from the confusion and trouble of this world, to rest in the arms of the Lord.

This is to know the joy of the Lord, and it becomes a force in my life, to dispel darkness and despair;  to energize my life in my walk with God.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.  

We need it, and He has it for us.

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