What is joy? That is what the Lord has been talking to me about in my spirit this week. God told me to focus on the Scripture from Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” So, when God directed me to consider what joy is, I prayed for His insight. This is what came up in my spirit: “Joy is being so confident in God that you are not moved in the middle of your difficult circumstances. We find joy when we rest in Him and in His presence.” Seriously. That is what I thought the Lord told me. I meditated on those words, and I thought, “You know what? That is so true! Thank you Lord!” Your joy becomes mine when I have faith in You, when I take confidence in You and believe that what You tell me in Your Word is reality. Then, I can rest; I can just sit in your presence and meditate on You and Your goodness and love for all of us, and I know that no matter what I am facing, all is well. I take joy in YOU LORD, no matter what is going on around me.
Now, I am no Hebrew or Greek scholar, but I can use Strong’s Concordance and an expository dictionary, and I thought it would be a good idea to study the Hebrew root of our word “joy.” When I read one of the meanings of the Hebrew root word, it was like fireworks going off in my spirit. Not only did the definition include gladness and rejoicing, which we would expect, but it included these words – “to be joined!” WOW! That’s the key – to be joined to God -- mind, body, and spirit! He is the vine; we are the branches (John 15:5). He is the head; we are the body (Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 1:18). He is the husband; we are the bride (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 21:9). Do you see all of the connections? We are joined with Him, and He is our joy! Then God told me to read 1 John 1:1-4. So, I did. It says:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
Look at that last portion of the Scripture. God is telling us that our joy is full when we have fellowship with Him. As we fellowship with Him, He becomes manifest in us. The earlier part of the verse says: “that which we have heard, which we have seen, which we have looked upon, which we have handled -- the Word of Life.” This is so great! As we hear Him, see Him, look upon Him, touch Him, our joy will become full. We do all of that by studying His Word, learning about Him, joining in fellowship with other faith-filled believers, and through prayer! As we do that, His character, His love, His strength, His peace, His faithfulness grows in us, and we are united with Him, moving from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18), filled with all that He is. What on earth could create greater joy! Nothing!
When we do all of that, He brings us into a rest in His presence, and we have faith to stand on all He says He has done and will do! Our communion with God builds our confidence and trust in Him, and we can rest in JOY! We can end our striving! We can find rest and peace and joy in a troubled world! His joy brings us His strength! Hallelujah!
The joy of the Lord is your strength,