“…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
You might be in a state of waiting. You are putting footwork to your wait. But now what? God would desire that you find joy in the journey! We, as human beings, tend to seek the goal, strive for the end results, look to the finish line. But if we do this continually, we will miss out on the journey. And the journey is where we learn lessons, soak in the joy of the Lord, and come to know His strength. Your journey maybe taking you through pain, unknown territory, loss, or depression. If you turn your journey over to God, wait upon Him to change things, do the footwork of obedience and standing on God’s word in the midst, then you can also find joy in the journey.
A painting that I have in my dining room says: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I love that! Storms will come, but in the midst is joy! Where does joy come from? Joy comes from the Lord! You don’t have to be joyful that you are in the circumstances that you are in. You don’t have to like where you are at. But quit striving to manipulate the circumstances, go to the God Who is in Control, and praise Him in the midst. Then comes joy.
My husband and I are on the road for a 5 month stretch with a few days at home here and there. My heart wants to be home with our boys who leave for college in a few short months. I can choose to mope around about not getting what I want, or I can choose to wait upon the Lord, continue to be obedient in what He has asked me to do, and I can sing praises to My God and King. I can dance in the rain! And when I do – OH the joy that fills my soul! Joy is linked to the presence of God throughout Scripture. Get into His presence and He will get you through with joy!
The joy of the Lord is our strength! Have you begged God to give you strength to get through, to be able to move beyond your situation? That strength comes from the joy of His presence. If you are in church, read your Bible, help out with missions, etc. but still feel no joy, then you are doing, but are not being with God. Put aside the activities and bow before your Father and let Him lift you up.
Hint for the day: Learn some melodies or songs of praise. Put worship music on when you are cleaning or driving. It will lift you up and bring you into worship. If you have small kids, sing along with them to some children’s songs of worship. We may not sing great, but we can make a joyful noise unto the Lord. If someone in your house is struggling, sing gentle songs of worship to them as you pray with them. Enter is house with thanksgiving in your heart and enter His courts with praise.