Be Joyful!

20/07/2021 00:00 - 23:00

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” – Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV).

Our leading verse is drawn from a momentous period soon after Nehemiah had rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem against fierce opposition. Once the Israelites had assembled back from their long years of exile, Ezra, the teacher of the Law, took out the Book of Moses, to remind them of God’s promises. Many were so shaken that they began to weep. But “.. Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep” (Nehemiah 8: 9).

Out of exile the Israelites were then instructed to put up temporary shelters. “The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great” (vv 17).

The Israelites had much reason to celebrate. In their years of exile, many must have lost hope that this day would ever come. But here it was. Moved to weep, Nehemiah, who had much to do with their return, reminded them that the “joy of the Lord” is their strength.

The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength! Whereas theirs was a situation of reunion, our circumstances may be different. In these days of the pandemic many are grieving from burdensome loss. These are troublesome days that often leave many people dejected. Sad news which are never in short supply these days have all the tendency to sap the spirit.

But if anything the Lord desires us to be joyful. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The one thing any believer must be sure of is that enemy, Satan, literally hates seeing the followers of Christ filled with joy and hope. This is why King David writes, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD” (Psalm 27:6). Today, be joyful.

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise up with a song of joy in my heart, for you have been so good to me, and may your name be praised, this I pray in Jesus’s name.