We’ve all heard the Bible quote… the joy of the Lord is my strength.
But what is the joy of the Lord? And how can we find it?
Joy is something we all want in our lives. But in our modern world, it seems like an unattainable goal.
We’re pushed and pulled in so many different directions all at once. Survival becomes the norm, and joy is left for another day.
So, in this devotional, we’ll answer all your questions about the joy of the Lord, learn how it is your strength, and discover the key to finding it every day.
The Joy of the Lord is My Strength
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
In this scripture from Nehemiah 8, we learn the secret to finding joy.
The people of Nehemiah’s day were convicted of their sin, and they wept bitterly because of it. They understood they could never live up to the standard of God’s law and they would never deserve God’s redemption.
But Nehemiah reminded them, now is not a time for sorrow, instead, it’s a time to celebrate.
In their sin and shame, they forgot all God had done for them. And they needed to be reminded… the joy of the Lord is your strength!
We’re no different. In our lives, the meaning of this verse can easily elude us when times are tough.
We forget it’s not what we do that brings us joy. Instead, it is what has been done for us that allows us to say… the joy of the Lord is our strength!
Where does the Joy of the Lord come from?
Joy comes from the Lord and having a connection with Him.
Think of it this way…
There are some people we meet and click with immediately. It feels like we’ve known them for years.
Then, there are people we have known for years and share a past with.
We have a meaningful connection with them. And we feel joyful being with them.
The thought of being separated from the people we’re connected to brings us pain. And the idea of not having them in our lives is unimaginable.
This is how God feels about us.
He sees us as the person He has a connection with. And He desires to have a lasting and loving relationship with us.
But sin separated us from God and kept us from having the meaningful relationship with Him we were created for.
So, God sent His Son, Jesus, to fill that gap for us.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus is the remedy to sin we need to be connected to God and to experience the joy of the Lord.
What is the Joy of the Lord?
Looking unto, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This scripture from Hebrews 12 is clear… When Jesus died for our sins, He was focused on “the joy that was set before Him”.
And guess what… we are that joy.
We are the joy of the Lord!
Our salvation is the reason Jesus died and rose again. And our salvation is what He was thinking of on the cross.
Jesus willingly faced a sinner’s death because of His joy in us. He came to fill the gap left by sin and to die in our place. He did it so our relationship with God could be restored permanently.
Now, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, sin no longer separates us from God, and we can experience the joy of walking with Him every day.
Once we learn this simple truth, our relationship with Jesus will flourish. And we will no longer have to face the hardships of life alone.
How to Have the Joy of the Lord
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
If you’re still asking… How do I receive the joy of the Lord?
The answer is simple.
If you believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as your Savior, then the joy of the Lord is already within you.
You have salvation, what this verse from Psalm 16 calls “the path of life”.
And once you are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you.
It is this continuous presence of God that fills us with overflowing joy.
If you haven’t asked Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sin, and you would like to know how, please read Accepting Jesus. You’ll find the answers to your questions about salvation through Jesus in this short guide.
God is Your Strength
The word strength in Nehemiah 8:10 paints a picture of God’s protection over us.
When we’re weak, we can seek refuge in God’s loving arms. Because He is our place of safety.
And we can draw strength from our relationship with God and find joy in Him through any circumstance.
Here are two Psalms that illustrate the Lord is your strength vividly…
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NKJV
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Hard times will come our way. But we have a secret place to run to when they do.
God is our strong tower and fortress in times of trouble. He is our protection from the world. And the place we can find joy and strength when we need them the most.
Whatever you’re facing, God will see you through it.
Place your trust in the Lord and He will be your strength.
Living in the Joy of the Lord
By now you may be wondering… how do I have the joy of the Lord every day?
Let’s look at one more Bible verse that teaches us about living in the Joy of the Lord.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Chaos and busyness take over our lives sometimes.
With so many things to do each day, it’s no wonder the joy we once had from knowing God intimately is replaced with stress and overwhelm.
But joy, real joy, comes directly from God. It’s an inner feeling of calm that is always there no matter what is happening on the outside.
This kind of joy doesn’t depend on us or our feelings to be present in our daily lives. It is the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us that makes it possible to live with the joy of the Lord every day.
We may not always see this joy, but it is still there deep within us because the Holy Spirit lives there.
I hope you know how much God loves you. And how much He wants to give you the joy and strength you’re looking for.
So, this last Bible verse from Romans 15:13 is my prayer for you today.
May God fill you with all joy and peace in believing. And by the power of the Holy Spirit cause you to abound in hope and in the joy of the Lord!
Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on, “What is the Joy of the Lord?”