Posted by: dhkrause | August 18, 2019

The Joy of the Lord

Nehemiah 8_10 (4)

True and lasting joy comes from walking with the true and living God. In Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, he lists joy second, right after love: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”.  Lasting joy is from God, and the joy of the Lord is your strength, as Nehemiah 8:10 declares:

Nehemiah 8:10
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Abiding in God’s presence brings fullness of joy, as David describes:

Psalm 16 (NKJV)
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 5_11

Those who put their trust in God, love Him and obey Him will rejoice in His goodness.  He will bless them with favor, and surround them as with a shield:

Psalm 5 (NKJV)
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield
.

As we walk in God’s light and truth, He becomes our exceeding joy.

Psalm 43 (NKJV)
Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy
;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.

Psalm 51_12

The joy of the Lord is lost when a person willfully sins against God.  The only remedy is to sincerely repent, and ask God to restore the joy of your salvation, as David did in Psalm 51:

Psalm 51 (NKJV)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Luke 2 describes the birth of Jesus Christ, the long awaited Savior that had been prophesied.  The angel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in the field told them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Luke 2
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Luke 2_10

11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Jesus urged His followers to abide in His love.  If we do, His joy will remain in us and our joy will be full.

John 15
Love and Joy Perfected
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation, suffered and died to bring “many sons to glory”, through His death and resurrection.  This was the “joy set before Him” for which He endured the cross.

Hebrews 12_2(2)

Hebrews 2
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Paul says in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”.  Jesus put the will of His Father first, the eternal life of each of us second, and Himself last.  He said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  If you put Jesus first, others second and yourself last, you will have true and lasting Joy. It may even be contagious, affecting all nature around you!

Isaiah 55 (NKJV)
12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 8/18/2019

Photo credits:
(1) https://pilgrimtraveler.com/for-the-joy-of-the-lord-is-your-strength/
(2) https://www.christianwallpapersfree.com/2014/01/sing-for-joy.html
(3) https://thejoyfulchristianministry.com/tag/salvation/ (Includes excellent teaching)
(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_XxLWeQneg
(5) https://blog.peacebewithu.com/where-is-your-focus/ (Includes excellent teaching)


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