Lasting Joy

Apr 2, 2024 | Encouragement

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.”
Nehemiah 8:10 

 

Here is a saying with a similar theme as the chosen Bible Verse from Nehemiah eight.

Written in the 1800s by Octavius Winslow, a prominent 19th century evangelical preacher.

 

“The religion of Christ is the religion of joy. Christ came to take away our sins, 
to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt:
 in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, 
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. 
Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? 
There is every element of joy- deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy – in the gospel
of Christ.
The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man.
The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. 
His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, 
his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, 
his future is a heaven inconceivable, unthought of, 
untold and endless blessedness. 
With such a God, such a Savior, and with such a hope, is he not, ought he not,
to be a joyful man?”

I have kept that quote in my “gift bag” of favourite Bible Verses and sayings for years.

It just fit so beautifully with the Nehemiah 8:10.

Now that Easter 2024 just passed as we celebrated wholeheartedly, we will hold on to the joy we have in Christ, right?

As you read the quote by Octavius Winslow, you know what there is to be joyful about! What a lot there is to be joyful for!

Now, as we turn to Nehemiah chapter eight, we learn that the people of Israel asked Ezra to read the law for them. It was during the festival of booths or feast of tabernacles. This was a visual reminder of their pilgrimage, God’s rescuing them and leading them out of Egypt. During this festival, they lived in booths made from branches.

The Israelites grieved over their sin. They experienced godly sorrow for their sin and they wept.

Nehemiah, Ezra, and the priests encouraged and comforted the people not to mourn any longer.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Today, the Holy Spirit is our comforter.

Yes, we weep with sorrow for our sin, but then comes a time we must rest in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and we say along with Nehemiah and the Israelites:

“The joy of the LORD is my strength.”

How personal God is. How merciful God is. What amazing grace given to us on the cross at Golgotha!

Is your joy complete today, dear loved one?

Do you have the genuine joy found only in Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

If not, won’t you ask Jesus into your heart today to rule your heart and life?

The gospel of God’s grace found in Jesus Christ offers comfort to those who mourn for their sin.

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth;
and break forth into singing, O mountains:
for the LORD hath comforted His people.”
Isaiah 49:13

 

 

 

 

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