Nehemiah 8:10 – “…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
When Nehemiah came to rebuild the walls of the temple in Jerusalem, it was not the first time this had been attempted. Ezra had successfully rebuilt the temple but whenever Ezra and the people tried to work on the walls they came up against resistance from their more powerful neighbors. Nehemiah came on the scene with permission from the Persian king to rebuild the walls and with a strength he called “the joy of the Lord.” The Word of God is supposed to bring you joy. That is one of the reasons John wrote his first epistle. In 1 John 1:4 he says, “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” God doesn’t just want you to have a little bit of fun, He wants you to have a lot of fun reading and studying His Word. Reading your Bible ought to bring joy into your life. In Philippians 4:4 Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.” Paul was telling believers that the very source of power was “joy.”
Nehemiah still came against difficulty and ridicule about what he was attempting to do, but he had something more powerful, he had joy in his work and joy in his Lord. Do you have a tough job to do? Do you have a wall to build? Do you have an obstacle you need to get over or a difficult situation to get through? Your challenge this week is to go to God in prayer and say, “Lord, I want Your Word to bring joy into my life. Whatever is going on currently, I want to experience the joy of the Lord when I read Your Word.” Determine to live in His strength and not your own, and then you will see the impossible become the possible. No matter what is going on in the world, or in your life, there is always a reason to be joyful in the Lord. When you make the Lord the source of your joy, He will give you strength to continue along the path He has planned for you. God bless you.