The Joy of the Lord is my strength! – Nehemiah 8:10
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
After a long stretch of dealing with postpartum depression, death in the family, and sickness I was craving joy. Are things suddenly perfect and in order? No, far from it. Our family was still grieving; we were gearing up for yet another snow storm. It seemed we could not escape the cycle of winter illnesses. I was on the path towards healing but still experiencing some setbacks. But, I realize we do not perfections to experience “joy.” It is there for the taking and we have to make the choice to access it.
Like many choices, it may not be easy, and requires some work. I was seriously done with focusing on one thing after another perpetuating the cycle 0f perceived misfortune. I knew I had to make an effort to access joy. Once we make that effort it becomes second nature. Replacing our reflex to focus on the negative. We are now used to flexing a new muscle. We no longer have to force ourselves to think positive because it is something that now flows through us. When talking to other Christians who I perceived as really in tune with God I always wondered how they had such joy. They just seemed so in awe of God and a deep belief that he had control. I secretly wanted that feeling but felt maybe I just wasn’t good enough. Which I know now is just a lie from Satan.
Of, course I wasn’t seeing rainbows everywhere all the sudden. I wasn’t walking on clouds and smiling saying, “it is well” all the time. If anything, I felt a period of time where I felt the enemy pressing in hard. It seemed the harder I tried the more “went” wrong. However, that is another trap from Satan. At times, I will admit, those thoughts can distract me. But I am more persistent and purposeful with my prayer. Knowing that God is greater and stronger than any attack from Satan. Remembering Nehemiah 8:10 “…the joy of the Lord is my strength!” rely on this promise!
Keep pressing into God. Be faithful in your prayers. Continue to thank him for your blessings by name. Each and every day expecting those blessings to continue to mount and grow. Keep the promise of Psalm 30 “…weeping may tarry for the night buy JOY COMES IN THE MORNING.”
Psalm 30: 4-5
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.[b]
5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.[c]
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning