BY GWEN DRESSEL - CHRISTIAN FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER
Have you ever thought or said, "Lord, I can't do this anymore? I have done everything that I know to do and I can't figure it out."
That is when we have to rely on the Lord. That is when we say the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Here's the deal. This incredible phrase, one that we have quoted, one that hangs up like artwork, one that we sing means this. During tough times, the core of your joy, is your relationship with the Lord.
Sometimes I read a phrase out of Bible aloud, emphasize different parts of a verse several different ways. For instance:
The JOY of the Lord is your strength.
Or the joy of the Lord is YOUR strength or: the joy of the Lord is your STRENGTH.
But the real emphasis is this: “The joy OF THE LORD is your strength.”
Our strength is very limited, but God's strength is limitless. Are your finances limited and sometimes not very strong? The Lord's strength is unlimited and forever strong. “The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8).”
Can your health falter? Can you become worn out and tired and weak? Of course you can – perhaps it already has happened. However, the Lord’s strength is perfect and complete. Our confidence we have in God may be the only strength we know.
Our joy is knowing that no matter what comes our way, no matter what our checkbook says, no matter whether we are having good times or bad times, or it is just life going 25 different directions at one time, or so it seems, there is only one thing that is limitless and that is relying on the joy and strength of the Lord. Through it all, we have a relationship with our God whose strength is overwhelming and limitless. Because of that we have joy unspeakable and full of glory.
There's a saying: when the times get tough, the tough get going. This means to have the joy of the Lord, you need to put him first, in everything you do. You love your spouse, but love God more. You love your children, but love God more. If you are dating, you might love the person you are seeing but love God more. This may be hard to comprehend but love God more. Put God first in everything you do, and you will find the joy of the Lord is your strength.
I remember when my late husband, Pastor Don, was born again, he put Jesus first in everything. I could not understand how he could love the Lord more than me or the children. But when I became born again, and the children became born again, we found out that the Lord became our first love.
Read your Bible, get to know God as your father, as your friend, as your wisdom, as your guide. Pray without ceasing, (First Thessalonians 5:16-18), be with God's people and become immersed in the things of God. You can worship the Lord, when you are driving to and from work, going to get the children from their school or practices. Wherever you are, God is with you.
Get your children involved in praising and worshiping the Lord. It says in the Bible, (Proverbs 22:6) “train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it."
So I am challenging you, after reading this article, start in believing and calling on the Name of the Lord in all areas of your life and THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH will become yours.
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I invite you to ask Him into your heart, to forgive your sins and become one with Him (Romans 10:9-10).
Thank you and have a blessed week in the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.