… And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold. (Nehemiah 8:10, AMPC)
I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (John 15:11, AMPC)
The verse in Nehemiah quoted above tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The Hebrew word used for joy is defined as rejoicing or gladness. I believe that the joy of the Lord is actually a product or manifestation of the grace of God. When we know that we are loved and cherished by God Almighty Himself, we can’t help but to be filled, to overflowing, with joy.
The strength that we experience comes from our trust in the faithfulness of God. John 15:11 quotes Jesus regarding His joy that resulted from Him doing the will of the Father. Jesus came to earth to be humanity’s personal Savior and sacrifice for sin. God loved humankind so much that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place that we might be reconciled to God. Knowing the extent of God’s devotion and desire to provide for an opportunity of salvation for humanity should inspire our confidence in God’s will and ability to satisfy our greatest needs.
As always, our strength does not come from us but from God. Therefore, when we face what, in reality, is beyond our capability, we can do as Christ did and say not our will but God’s will be done. We can prevail in knowing that God is working in us and through us. Consequently, as we pursue the will of God for our lives, we can share in the joy and delight that Jesus spoke of.
In John 15, Jesus talks about how He kept God’s commands. He then challenges us to do the same in loving one another. We must come to understand that only by doing God’s will can we truly experience the joy of the Lord in its fullness. The joy of the Lord is far superior to happiness because it is not dependent on circumstances or people. The joy of the Lord is founded on a relationship with God, the ultimate promise keeper. Jesus wanted His joy to be ours in full measure – complete and overflowing.
Fullness of joy is a choice we can make by receiving God’s gift: His Son as our personal Savior. Allow the joy of the Lord to be your endless supply of strength to face the challenges of life and eternity. (Adrian)