Spiritual Strength For Each Day
“Neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Of what does joy consist here? Of power and strength. But we must not take these words of Nehemiah out of their context, for the joy of the Lord is never an isolated thing. Something must precede it. Here too it is a secret, namely inner joy in great distress. The people had returned outwardly from their exile to the land of Israel. Everything seemed to be all right, but inwardly there was no true joy. This is the situation of many Christians in our day. Outwardly everything is in order, but not inwardly. What was lacking then and is lacking now? Distress! What distress? Distress through the living Word of God. When we are in great distress through the deep conviction of the Word of God, this great, overpowering joy of the Lord is born in us because the Word has convicted us. There is no other way to obtain the joy of the Lord. Conviction through the Word of God is needed. Then the joy of the Lord will be born out of inner distress. This is the secret of real joy in the Lord.