Experiencing The Joy Of The Lord
Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Though weeping is necessary, it is not the final message God has for us. Nehemiah and Ezra speak up and correct the people. What a powerful statement of the effect of the Word of God! When people understand it, it brings joy. The joy of the LORD is your strength. What a great word for grieving people who see the evil in their lives and the lives of those around them and mourn over what it has produced! The word that brings joy is that of forgiveness. God can forgive! He does, and He will restore. That is what Jesus meant when He said, Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). I don’t think you will ever be comforted until you learn to mourn. When you see people hurting in pain, and despair because of what sin can produce you grieve over it, then you are ready for the comfort of forgiveness.
What does the joy of the LORD mean? It is because God has found a solution to these problems of sin. He has provided a way back to sensible, wise, helpful, wholesome living. How? By learning to think like He thinks. Begin to see the world from His point of view. Listen no longer to the nosy voices of the people who don’t have joy themselves. Do not take your philosophy of life from what people are saying or the advice others are giving. Listen to the Word of God.
That is the answer. It will heal your life. He sent forth his word and healed them, writes the psalmist (Psalm 107:20). The ministry of the Word of God is to heal us and create in us a desire to share that healing with others. Nehemiah asks the people to send portions of food to those who had nothing prepared. This is usually the result of those who find their lives beginning to be healed by the Word of God. They start thinking of others who are hurting and want to share with them what they have learned.
Live in the JOY of the Lord today, and share it with others.