Prayer and Reflections

Strength through Joy

The joy of the Lord is your strength.
- Nehemiah 8:10
This is one of my frequent “go-to” verses in difficult times when I am stressed, suffering from pain or loss, or struggling with fatigue. The events of the past year have sapped the strength of many as fear, loss, and doubt, have robbed them of God’s intended peace and joy. A sense of helplessness and hopelessness leads to loss of joy and, thus, loss of strength. 

Renewed joy and strength can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit that comes to live within us at the time of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the wellspring from which we must draw when our circumstances are not so joyful and our strength wanes.

As we see the last vestiges of winter make way for the season of spring and then summer, we are reminded of the joy of Jesus’ resurrection that followed the darkness of His crucifixion where, through His death, our sin debt was paid. It is through His risen life that eternal life is possible for everyone who chooses to believe in Him and, therein, is the root of our joy!

Paul reminds us that we have the greatest opportunity to discover God’s strength in our own time of weakness and need when he wrote, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10) When your joy fades and your strength fails, cry out to the One who promises to “supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 4:19) Praise Him in worship and gratitude even if you don’t feel like it. Then, when joy comes and your strength is renewed, share the encouragement you receive with others in need. 

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.” Psalms 25:4

Another day is dawning, Lord,
And I must make a choice;
Will I live this day in fear and doubt,
Or will I, by faith in You, rejoice?

For I stand before a crossroad,
Pondering the paths I see in prayer,
Seeking Your Spirit’s leading,
Dependent upon Your loving care.

But earthly pleasures and temptations beckon,
Prompting restlessness and fear;
Yet, I know through insight from Your Word
Your higher, greater plan is clear.

But I must will to make the choice
To not be deceived by Satan’s ploy,
And allow fearful, negative emotions
To rob me of Your peace and joy.

But in faith must choose to follow
Wherever You lead today,
Trusting that in whatever comes
You will direct and guide my way.

© 2016 Reflections of His Joy: Discovering God's Joy in Everyday Life 


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