Very often we hear Christian believers say “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Oh how beautiful and inspiring these words sound. It’s found on T-shirts, stickers, necklaces, bags, etc, to give inspiration to those who trust in God. But do we even understand the meaning? What brought about these beautiful lines from the Bible that have become a kind of popular slogan among Christians?
Let us figure out what happened in the Old Testament that reminded the Israelites of the love and joy of the Lord. The story revolves around Israel, Jeremiah the governor and Ezra, the priestly scribe.
Where In The Bible Can We Find The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength?
In the book of Nehemiah 8:10, we can find how the people of Israel acknowledged that their strength comes from the joy of the Lord.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
I am hopeful your query for the meaning of the joy of the Lord is my strength would be adequately satisfied after reading through this content.
God on several occasions demonstrated His love, kindness and compassion to His special possession (Israelites). But because of their disobedience, they couldn’t recognize that love and kindness. The consequences of their disobedience thought them lessons that forced them to return to the Lord with joy after wandering away.
To summarize this whole verse, it is clear enough for everyone to see the stubbornness of the Israelites. Their behavior as recorded in the Old Testament demonstrate rebellion.
Whenever they disobey God, they receive the appropriate punishment. Disobedience to the Lord weakens their strength to fight against their enemies. In view of this, they lost all their battles. Because their sinful and rebellious attitude has grieved the Lord.
On the other hand, if these Israelites vowed to be obedient and do so —they win all their battles because the Lord gives them the strength to fight and subdue their enemies. And this brings joy to the Lord.
The Story Behind And Its Meaning
Israel’s walls of protection got broken down when their enemies invaded their land. Some were taken captives and made slaves in foreign lands, many were killed and their temple destroyed. Sadness, fear and hopelessness gripped them but Nehemiah stood up to rebuild the nation with the help of God.
After finishing rebuilding the wall on the twenty-fifth day of the sixth month they had a grand celebration; —Israel’s custom meetings and festivals take place during the seventh month. It was the perfect occasion to gather all the people to celebrate the completion of the rebuilt wall.
It was a joyous moment for them to come together. Ezra and some Levites read God’s law to the people. They found out have far they have wandered from the Lord’s law. Grief then filled them; they felt remorseful.
Instead of having joyous feasting, it turned into a time of mourning and weeping. Because they have gone too far from the Lord. This time around the fear of the Lord came upon them. Fearing God means being ready to stay away from sin —hence obeying His commandment. This brings joy to the Lord.
The Bible states that they had a party and enjoyed themselves because the Lord has pardoned them. In verse 10, it reads that “go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet.” The joy of the Lord became their strength.
Breakdown Of Nehemiah 8:10
• Eat The Fat And Drink The Sweet
They were commanded to go ahead and feast in a joyous way to glorify God Who has been merciful to them. It gives them the strength to trust in the Lord because His faithful love endures forever. The joy was supposed to be spread to everyone, including the poor.
“Remember those who cannot feast; and send portions to them, that the joy and the thanksgiving may be general.” The grievances were gone.
• The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength
It should be understood that God rejoices when His children obey his commands and worship Him in truth. Indeed, it gives special hope and strength to those who worship Him. This is what happened to the Israelites.
Religious joy, when observed diligently with total dependency on the help of God brings joy to Him. Worshiping and adoring God with a clean heart, and self-diffidence is a powerful means of giving strength to the human soul.
When we read verse 12 it says after the gathering and hearing of the law read to them all the people left with tremendous joy. This is because they had gained insight into the matters that have caused their miseries.
Why Joy Matters?
To experience joy is one of the most important things in life. Living without any joy could bring complicated health issues that may lead to early death. I believe it is even better when joy is felt in a person’s soul.
Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit and anytime we rejoice in the Lord, it pleases Him. When a Christian chooses joy over fear or worries, he exercises his faith and trust in God. The Holy Spirit grieves when we sin; He rejoices when we do the will of the Father.
How To Make The Joy Of The Lord Your Strength
If you are asking yourself; “how to make the joy of the Lord my strength?” Then you have a responsibility to fulfill. This responsibility —is about producing fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). You can produce this fruit by walking in the Spirit. This is stated emphatically in Galatians 5:16.
It is time you seek the joy of the Lord by obeying His Word. When you listen and become a doer of the Word, the spirit within you will rejoice!
Again, let me remind you that, God is the source of joy. So if you have Him by your side; automatically you will be in a joyful mood very often. I bet you even if you face tribulations in life —your soul will rejoice.
If you want to gain joy and strength from the Lord, do His will. Such as these: love your neighbor as yourself, be kind, and forgiving, stay away from any kind of sin, and share the gospel that saves lives with others…
Interestingly, scientists have revealed that practicing the act of kindness releases a kind of hormone (happy hormones) that gives euphoric feeling to the body. In the spiritual dimension, it goes a long way by touching the soul of the person practicing random kindness.
“Majestic splendor emanates from Him, He is the source of strength and joy.” (1 Chronicles 16:27)
I always feel happy within my spirit whenever I gift people something —especially those who are in dire need. My soul truly rejoices. If you haven’t had this kind of feeling before —try being kind to people. Please don’t be biased or partial.
May the Lord be the source of your strength and joy in Jesus’ name. You can feel it within your soul if you are living a life that gladdens the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes I sense my spirit rejoicing when praying or praising the Lord. I involuntarily shed tears which is well known as “tears of joy.” Even when I sit quietly alone, I could sometimes see tears of joy flowing down my cheek. This is the work of the Holy Spirit residing in me.
The Bible says those who don’t have the Spirit of God within them cannot be called children of God. You must therefore have the Holy Spirit within you if you are a true Christian. He comes to reside in anyone who is a born again Christian.
Try your best not to grieve Him. The Lord and the angels in heaven would be pleased that you are chasing after righteousness. Just like how the Israelites made up their minds to live righteously after wandering far away from the law of the Lord.
Your strength must come from the Lord. Your joy too must come from the Lord. And if you seek these from Him, you would become safer and stronger enough to overcome the devil and his crafty devices.
The Lord will let His angels protect you. He will take you through the most difficult situations without you being hurt or ashamed. In the end, you would be singing joyful songs in your heart.
What God Is Looking For In Christians?
When we look at the scriptures, it is obvious that the Lord is looking for people who will bring Him joy. If we are truly following Jesus Christ, the perfect example of living in righteousness —then we must strive to give joy to God.
The Lord said He is looking for those who will worship Him im truth and in Spirit. This is what helps the flow of joy in strength both in heaven and on earth.
“But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.” (John 4:23)
Again, during the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan river, God spoke by saying Jesus is His Son who brings Him joy.
“This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.” (Matthew 3:17)
Today, God calls us His children because Christ Jesus has adopted us into the family of God.
Now the question is; are you giving joy to the Lord? It is time you reevaluate your life like how the wayward Israelites acknowledged their sins and stubbornness and vowed to obey the Lord henceforth.
If you abide in Jesus and bear good fruit, you can confidently say the joy of the Lord is my strength.
Some Bible Verses Relating To The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength
I am the person who boldly says the joy of the Lord is my strength at all times — especially during prayers or devotion.
Now let me share with you some Bible verses on the joy of the Lord is my strength topic. I believe they will give you more insight to continually find joy in God.
1. “Shout for joy to God, our source of strength! Shout out to the God of Jacob!” (Psalms 81:1)
2. “Let the godly rejoice because of their vindication! Let them shout for joy upon their beds!” (Psalm 149:5)
3. “Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.” (Proverbs 12:20)
4. “The LORD strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.” (Psalms 28:7)
5. “So that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully.” (Colossians 1:10 – 11)
It is not too late to ask for forgiveness and be a new person in Christ Jesus. May the Lord help you at all times by giving you strength to resist the devil and all sinful desires that grieve the Holy Spirit.