I was doing a Google search to find some Bible verses about the joy of the Lord because I have absolutely NO joy in this life/world except for the joy I find in praising the Lord. I cry over the news at times, because it is so horrible. Yesterday was particularly hard for me after reading a story about the 8 y/o Jewish boy who had been kidnapped and killed walking home from school. My son is 8, and therefore, I internalized it and thought what if...? And I cried out to God, saying I can no longer be a part of a world where a child cannot even walk home from school without getting torn to pieces. It really bothered me.
So I went online to find about about joy and came across a wonderful teaching on how Joy is deeper than mere "happiness", and how it is spiritual, something Satan can never take from you. I thought since many on RITA are hurting as well, I would post this to give YOU joy.
**FOR FAIR USE AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES**
One of the most popular passages in the Bible is Nehemiah 8:10: "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Why is joy important? Because the "joy of the Lord is your strength!" Joy produces strength. And strength is needed to fight. You are called to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12). I sense in my spirit that many people in the body of Christ are tired of fighting the good fight of faith. They are struggling to fight because they have lost their joy.
Perhaps you are tired of fighting for your marriage. You are fed up with your spouse. You think that he doesn't love you any more, so why fight for his love. You are ready to throw in the towel.
Maybe you're sick and tired of being sick and tired. You have been sick for so long that you don't remember what it's like to be healthy. At one time, you battled this sickness, but the sickness seems to be winning. So you think, What's the use, I might as well accept this sickness and learn to live with it. I'm never going to get well.
Possibly you once waged war against your financial debts. But things haven't changed much, and you're beginning to get discouraged. You think that you are never going to get out from under all your bills.
You might be having trouble with your children. You wonder if they are ever going to straighten up. You are exhausted from their rebellion. Is God ever going to change them? you wonder.
EVERYONE HAS TROUBLES
I know how you feel. As a pastor, I face many trials every day. I do my best to be a good pastor. I teach the word of God, counsel the distraught, visit the sick, etc. Yet there are always people who are never happy with my performance. People complain:
"I don't get fed spiritually." "The pastor didn't visit me in the hospital." "The pastor was not available to counsel me when I needed him to." "I'm not going to church because brother X is a hypocrite." "I didn't go to church because the Dallas Cowboys were playing an early game." "The people at church are not friendly." "The church is not open for me to use my gifts." "Nobody cares about me at church."
After experiencing these and many other trials, I too want to give up. I lament over my troubles, What's the use of trying to be a good pastor. They don't appreciate me. I want to say, "Forget them!" Of course that's my flesh talking, not my heart.
My heart says, "They don't know what they are doing. They are simply frustrated themselves. They don't mean to hurt me. I'm going to rejoice." This is what you need to do: Rejoice!
**continued at link**