The Joy of the Lord

 The joy of the Lord is YOUR strength. WIll you pick it up and use it today? New on the Fruit Pursuit PodcastWhat exactly is the joy of the Lord?

Nehemiah 8:10
“Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

In this story, Ezra found the book of the Law and read it to the people at their request.  When they heard all the things they were supposed to be doing and weren’t they were tempted to be discouraged and sad. But Nehemiah pointed out that this was a holy day, because they had found and understood God’s word.  He encouraged them to celebrate.

 

What exactly is the joy of the Lord?

Just in case you want to separate it from happy, here’s what the word really means in Hebrew:
chedvah,” meaning joy or gladness.

Why is it my strength and how do I use it?

The true joy of the Lord creates possibility, hope, and life.
It is our motivation to keep going.

How do I use it?

First, you can consider the techniques I discuss in these other episodes:

In Episode 20: A Secret to Easy Joy, we talked about how joy is a bi-product of other actions you take:

Keep your commitments

In Episode 21: The #1 Joy Sapper and How to Stop It we talked about joy sappers we allow in our life that block us from it coming in, even though it might be there waiting for us.

In Episode 22: Happy Living, we discussed practical ways to enhance joy, make it more fulfilling, and teach our brains that we actually like it.

This episode is primarily to help you see that joy IS your superpower in Christ.
If you want the energy to persevere, if you want the courage to take a risk, if you want that dead set lock on that relationship no matter what the other person throws at you, the joy of the Lord is your strength and shield.

Paul and Barnabas showed joy as they sang in the jail- along with countless others who have done the same over the centuries.  Their joy was the superpower that bolstered their faith in the midst of severe difficulty.

What was the alternative?

Discouragement? Hopelessness? Cynicism? What possible fruit will those attitudes bear?

Pride- I’m right, this is awful.
I’m right, this is someone else’s fault and there’s nothing I can do.

If I claim Defeat, I may be miserable, but I absolve myself from any responsibility. I can sit back, and slack off. No courage must be mustered.  No perseverance is necessary. Circumstances may happen to me and I am no longer required to participate.

When we grow weary, this is tempting.  Even in our discouragements, we long for any action to be someone else’s responsibility.

 

Ah, but friend, if you are a Christian, then like it or not, you are telling others by how you live your life what is and isn’t possible in the strength of Jesus!

Unbelievers can’t exactly tell when you are deciding simply not to pick up the tools and weapons you have available, or whether they just don’t appear to work.

If you are a believer, you are called to live a life of testimony of Christ’s work in you!

Pick up your weapons!  One of them is the joy of the Lord! It is the muscle behind the punch, the energy behind the walking, the running, the getting back up when you fall.

How is it joy of the Lord your STRENGTH?

Last year was one of the hardest, most stressful years ever, and yet, you can ask my husband- I was thriving?  Why? Because of a steady focus- a choice I made over and over again to continually focus on the joy of the Lord- on his power, on his workings, on his goodness, and collecting ever scrap of evidence that he was working in my life.

Practically, what does that look like?

– I sat down on the couch one night in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep and created a new playlist on my phone of uplifting music- songs that brought me focus on the greatness of God, who I am, what is possible, how he’s in charge, and some peppy tunes.
Then, every time I was alone and my mind started to wander towards worry or panic, I hit play.

 

– I took regular time to talk to God- tell him what I needed, what I longed for, and then thanked him for the ways he had met our needs.

 

– I bought a giant post-it pad and pasted pages to my bedroom wall.  One said God’s abundance doesn’t disappear just because my circumstances changed. Another was a growing list of ways God showed up, needs met, things I was thankful for. (It wasn’t in a journal, locked away. It was on the wall- where I couldn’t not look at it every single day.)

– I focused on the way God was meeting the needs of others and thanked him for their success. I had a list of other people in my life that had seen God do a mighty work in their life.

– The joy of the Lord is something that God provides, but we must choose to take hold of it and use it. Just like a soldier is issued a weapon, but he gets to choose whether he just lugs the thing around all day behind him or whether he picks it up and shoots the enemy.

The joy of the Lord is YOUR strength.  Will you pick it up and use it today? How?  What’s one way you will choose to apply the joy of the Lord to your life today?

One way you can take action is to apply for one of our Joy and Peace Breakthrough Calls.  We have a few spots left. Get on a call with me that is specifically designed to help you get clear on what practical joy and peace can look like in your family life in the year 2020.  Discover the #1 thing stopping you from having that regular happiness, and Complete the call with excitement knowing the EXACT next steps to take to have the happy and content family you desire!

SImply apply for a call at maryaldrichcoaching.com/apply . But hurry, there are only a couple spots left and you’ll want to get started on the game plan we create right away.

As a bonus for applying, I’ll send you a FREE digital copy of my Daily Fruit Juice Journal.  It has 365 days of simple journal prompts to help you apply the fruit of the spirit more practically to your everyday life.  Use it with your kids, too.  The prompts make great conversation starters for valuable discussions.

Again, that’s maryaldrichcoaching.com/apply

Speak Your Mind

*