Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Neh 8:10)
Don’t be dejected and sad
You are grieving
I love that the Hebrew is just so direct and infinitely more colourful than our own language. Grieving really sums up the condition of my heart at late. I have been wondering where my joy had gone. I felt numb and somewhat like I had failed. God has been providing many opportunities for me to speak about our love of Him and the amazing ways He has touched our lives. And yet, I felt like in the last few months, that some of my fire had waned. To understand I will share an experience with you. In recent months I recorded a television segment that will go to air on Mother' Day. On the day of recording, I was incredible ill, but still went to record the program. You can read more about that here. Just before Christmas I received the finished program in the mail, edited and ready for the air. As I watched I could see how flat I looked and how I seemed to have no joy while I spoke. I was instantly ashamed. I was ashamed that this was my chance to share with the world, the amazing God that we know, and I could not convey it. It broke my heart, but this is what I saw. Don consoled me and told me that no one would notice and that God would use it mightily. But in my heart I was grieved, like I have somehow let God down.
Two nights ago Jesus spoke to me in a dream. He walked to me from behind and came to sit in front of me, He said,
'Do not forget that I was hated for what I spoke. Do not be surprised if people look upon you in disdain. What I see is beauty itself because of the honesty and obedience of your heart. I told you to go and you went. Leave the rest to me. How you appear on the day is exactly how you need to. Just watch me use this for my Father's glory. Be at peace.'
He smiled at me, lifting one corner of his mouth, and then I awoke.
for the joy of the Lord
ki chduth ieue
exhilaration of Yahweh
There is nothing quite like a visit from Jesus to bring joy. The word exhilaration is a much more descriptive word. The joy of the Lord is not something that I take from God. Knowing that I can bring a smile to God's countenance is what gives me strength. Having joy does not mean that I am always happy, but it does mean that I am content and affirmed by His love and joy.
is your strength
the stronghold of you
I love these words because they reflect who holds the joy. God holds the joy, and in Him I find my stronghold. His joy is the stronghold of me. He is all about me, through me, and in me. His joy, is my hiding place and the place where I can stand on the fortress walls with my arms flung wide and declare my freedom. Now that is the true meaning of joy.