One of my favorite passages of scripture comes from the Book of Nehemiah:
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~ Neh. 8:10
I used to transpose the words joy and strength, believing that the strength of the Lord is our joy, but that’s not what the verse says. It says that “the joy of the LORD is your strength.” When we are joyful, the joy actually strengthens us!
This topic has been on my mind since I heard Zach Williams’ new song, Old Church Choir. Check out the video here and try not to start dancing around the room while you listen to it! I look like a cross between all three women in the video whenever I hear that song. I’m sure several people have been quite amused at me dancing around in my car while waiting for the light to turn green. Thankfully, only God sees me dancing around my bedroom to this song!
Look at the faces of the people in the video and see the strength. Instead of having a sour face while driving the carpool, typing on a computer at work, or doing the dishes, those women are overflowing with joy. There’s no way to hide their light under a bushel!
I spent too many years of my life as a sourpuss. I was always either complaining or worrying about something, for reasons I mostly don’t even remember now. How differently might I have faced my life challenges if I had found my strength in the joy of the LORD! I believe this is why Paul tells us to rejoice always. When I am joyful, my thoughts are on God rather than on my problems, and God’s joy strengthens me.
You might be wondering how you can possible “rejoice always” when you are dealing with big problems. I’ll discuss that topic in my next blog entry.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace driving a car with her dog by her side. Courtesy Bitmoji.]