The Joy of The Lord Is Your Strength

They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
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."
. . . Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.     Nehemiah 8:8-12

The Word of God is never meant to restrict our enjoyment of life as some believe. Some see the Word of God purely in terms of rules and regulations that take away our laughter, our joy and any spirit of celebration we have as humans. But that is far from the truth. The Word of God is meant to liberate us from the sin and bondage that Satan puts us in and to set us on a path of  true joy, celebration, and enjoyment of life. The Bible is full of celebrations and feasts because of the goodness of God. God is a God of joy, laughter, and celebration.

As they listened to the Word of God being read and explained to them, the Jews realized just how far they had strayed from God and lived without His Word. They were visibly filled with remorse and they responded by bowing in worship and weeping. But Nehemiah reminded them that hearing God's word was an occasion to rejoice because the Word of God was the source of divine joy and strength for their lives. Nehemiah encouraged them to go away rejoicing.
The Bible puts it beautifully: "Then all the people went away to eat and drink . . . and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them."

Spending time to read and understand the Word of God is one of the most important things that we can do as Christians. The Word gives us guidance for daily living; it strengthens and encourages us when we are down and discouraged; it calms our souls when the enemy attacks us with all kinds of negative thoughts; it gives us hope to believe that God has better things in store for us than what we might be currently seeing around us; it gives divine joy which is the basis of our strength.

Question: So, do you want your life to be undergirded by the joy of the Lord? And do you want the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Then consciously carve out time on a regular basis to read, meditate over and understand the Living Word of the Living God. The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the provision of your Word. May your joy always be my strength as I meditate upon and understand your Word. Amen.