If there was ever a time to be strong it is today. The only kind of strength that will last is inner strength. Your flesh can be pretty impressive in the short term but your body will only last so long. The kind of strength we need is inner strength. A strong inner man will usually result in physical ability. If nothing else it will give you a voice to speak up. Strength of character will always have an effect on the body. His spirit will quicken your mortal body. If you feel broken down emotionally or spiritually you will begin to feel fatigued. When I feel a sense of rejection or sense of self-pity, I begin to feel tired, worn out. If I feel loved and accepted then I feel better all over.
So how do we get strong? How do we maintain spiritual, emotional strength? We all get a boost of energy once in awhile, but how do we hold onto that? Nehemiah told the people not to weep because the joy of Yahvah was their strength. This was on the Feast of Trumpets and they were weeping because they had heard the law read and they were overcome with guilt, remorse. But he told them this day is holy, so donít mourn. Now the fact that they were weeping was reason enough for Nehemiah to tell them to rejoice, because if they hadnít shown a repentant spirit then his response may have been different. He may have said ďYou folks need to take this seriously. We served 70 years in captivity because of our sins.Ē But he was comforting those who mourned. We need to comfort the afflicted but we need to afflict the comfortable to bring them to repentance.
But they were to rejoice because that was the source of the strength. If you donít have joy today what is hindering you? Could be a number of things. The first thing that clears the way for joy is a clear conscience. If you are involved in something that you donít really feel good about it will definitely put a hitch in your get along. If you are holding resentment it will sap your joy. If you find too much fault you will lose your joy and your inner strength will go with it. But who is responsible for your joy? Can you blame your family? Can you blame your circumstances?
One of the things that robs of us joy today is not grief, not the misery, or the pain. But I believe one thing that hinders us is the shallow version or the make-believe joy that our society has to offer. We are sometimes relatively happy on a surface level so we accept that as the joy of Yahvah. But that kind of surface level happiness is very temporary and can be swept away, by a million things. Like family problems or a stock market crash, etc, etc. But the joy of Yahvah is there in the midst of troubles and tribulations. This is the invisible source of your strength. There may not be an obvious reason for you to have joy. As a matter of fact your life may look very sad to everyone around you.
Another hindrance to joy is isolationism. Joy is something that must be shared to be maintained. If you hide your light under a basket it will be smothered out. Why would you not want to share your joy? There is no threat of losing it by giving it away, as a matter of fact sharing it usually makes it multiply.
I realize you have major problems in your life today, but what if you found out you were about to inherit a vast estate? Would that ease your mind? Would that take a load off your mind about your future? What if you found out you had been especially chosen from before you were born to be a person of destiny? What if you found out that you have been invited to join a royal family? Does any of that make sense?
2 Tim. 8,9
1 Peter 2:9,10
Does any of that apply to us?
Why does Yahvah love us? Why do you love your family? Is it because of the great things they have done? Family ties. Blood is thicker than water. But spiritual kinship is thicker than blood.
Itís this kind of assurance that can give us the ability to wait in quietness and confidence. Itís this kind of comfort that can help us to stand still and see the salvation of Yahvah. But if we donít stand still long enough we will never see it. Like Israel we tend to flee on horses, and put our trust in man instead of Yahvah.
How can we be strong in the power of His might? By casting down imaginations. Ideas of inferiority or ideas of greatness. We need to be humble and confident at the same time. Our imagination can kill us. You can imprison yourself with your imagination. Sometimes we think ďnobody likes me, I am not good for anything. I have no value. I have no reason to have joy. I am nobody special. I am not needed.Ē Did you know you are an important part of the body? Thatís why you need to make your calling and election sure. So you can fulfill your role and do it with joy. Now there will be times when you donít really feel joy if you have to get up and 4 in the morning and change the babyís diaper. You might not feel very excited about that job but you do it anyway if you can. Someday it will pay off. If you keep loving your baby, loving your neighbor eventually your joy will be full. If you will lay down your life for your brother, and love the sinner before he loves you, you can be sure you will get burned. Just like Yahshua gets taken advantage of, he wants us to enter the joy of the master the same way He did. No other way.
There will be days when your joy is not full. Yahshua said in this world you will have sorrow, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. But there is a measure of joy to be had now living in anticipation of a better day. We need to enjoy the good things of this life but donít let it go to your head. 1 Cor. 7:29-31
The saints of old were living their lives looking for the coming Kingdom. The prophets of old all spoke of the day when there would be peace of earth. Joseph of Arimathea was waiting for the kingdom to come. The apostles were expecting the complete restoration of all things but not until Yahshuaís second coming. So they spent their days in adversity but they were excited about the resurrection to come. The reason they could have joy is because their troubles were only temporary and they were not to be compared to the glory which was about to be revealed in them.
That is one of the secrets of joy is to recognize the brevity of this life. The pain, loneliness, despair, betrayal, boredom, aching and longing for something real, is only for a brief time. The puzzles and mysteries of life will soon be over. Pretty soon they will all make sense and we will understand it better by and by.
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