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The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

joyoftheLordA scripture that I has perplexed me for nearly twenty-five years is James 1:2:  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

In fact, the truth is I have wrestled with understanding that trials can have benefits, and perfect my character so I will not be lacking in anything.

No, I have never really wanted to admit, until more recently, that my character needed a little honing.

Nor have I ever understood that “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”. (Nehemiah 8:10)

John 15:10-11 gives me a little more insight:  “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.  These things I have spoken to you, ‘that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full’.”

Obedience, instead of being burdensome, is associated with joy, according to Jesus.  It just clicked in my head.  The fifth commandment admonishes children to obey their parents and it will go well for them.  Likewise, if we obey our Heavenly Father, it goes well with us, and that will bring us joy.

Joy is a choice, not a feeling.  Feelings lie, joy is not like happiness which is only fleeting and based on circumstances.  Most circumstances I have no control over.  Joy is a choice I have the ability to choose.  Today I choose for the Joy of the Lord to be my strength.

“Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.” Thomas Aquinas

Image from sjbrown58.wordpress.com

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6 comments to The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

  • Becca

    Wow Marilyn…thank you for this. What a great post. Joy is one of the fruits of the spirit. May you reap a plentiful harvest of it.

  • This is exactly what I needed to hear today–thank you SO much for sharing it. I’m glad I found your blog!

  • Mchuza Nicholaus

    Real I have witnessed that the Joy of the Lord is my strength

  • Camille

    Hello Marilyn. I wanted to add another line of scripture that may help you. It is 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” When times are hard and I am over burdened I remind myself that this life is just a quick flash compared to the life I will have in eternity. Eternity is just around the corner. The spirit of Jesus that lives in me is also moved by that thought and together we have joy in knowing that truth. In the midst of trouble and tribulation I can smile and have real joy. It is the peace of God that surpasses all (human) understanding.

  • Tracy Denny

    joy covers almost everything in life…. its really really vital and important in all endeavour…. tank u lord for being joy

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