~ Spiritual Strength Comes From The Joy of The Lord ~
The Joy of The Lord is our strength (our joy does not come from anything we have done) ~ “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’” (Nehemiah 8:10).
The Joy of The Lord’s Compassion is our strength (in testimony as we remember we are saved by Him) ~ “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance’” (Luke 15:1-7).
The Joy of The Lord’s treasure—His people—is our strength (in the Christian life, as we recognize we are His property) ~ Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).
The Joy of The Lord’s Cross is our strength (in persecution, as we consider Him in prayerful meditation through His Word) ~ “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. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
The Joy of The Lord’s oneness with us is our strength (in fruit-bearing, as we abide in Him) ~ Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 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 remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:9-11).
The Joy of The Lord’s presence is our strength (in our walk, as we look to Him in faith) ~ “He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness” (Psalm 105:43). “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:32). “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20).
The Joy of His joy is our strength (in communion as we have fellowship with Him) ~ “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing’” (Zephaniah 3:16-17).
The Joy of His Presentation and Commendation shall be our strength (in glory to praise Him for all His grace given to us) ~ “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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