The Joy of the Lord – The Winner’s Strength

There is a joy that does not depend on health, achievement, wealth, success, acceptance … that does not depend on whether you are dying in hospital and in debt or living with billions … on whether in marital bliss or alone or whether enjoying visible victories or seeing only conflicts and defeats. This joy does not depend on whether you have a great top level executive job/or political office or begging alone on the street … there is a rejoicing that is not based on what you have or do not have … This is the same joy that sustained the saints when thrown to lions, tied and burning on the stake or left to rot in dungeons.

This joy does not depend on whether you have seen what God has done or yet to see it. There is a joy that knows no rival, a peace that knows no comparison …it is based on relationship with Christ and Christ alone. Only true believers will find this joy …this peace and this joy passes all understanding – so do not ask me to explain it. Only the Holy Spirit can produce it – no one else.

This joy is eternal – reaching beyond time into eternity. When you have it, you will cherish it beyond any other thrills. Other thrills and highs will be perceived as passing fancies and unappealing weight – counted as manure(dung) in comparison. You cannot explain why you see what others embrace and are desperate to have as only liabilities (loss) when compared to what you now have. When you have it, you will purify yourself as grace enables you so as not to ever risk losing it. The one who has it gives all credit and glory to Christ … is humble because there is no basis for any boosting except in Christ Jesus alone. God chastens and gives more grace for repentance and closer fellowship to this humble rejoicing soul.

The joy produces a reason for boosting in Christ, a longing to worship and glorify Him in Spirit (heart) and according to revelation and the word of God …not anyhow. This joy places no confidence in the deeds of the flesh i.e. the always corrupt acts and self-efforts (good or bad) of the unredeemed man. This joy hates not just the evil humanity disdains but is more repelled by the wickedness of human nature itself knowing the best of humanity is rottenness to the core albeit yet to manifest. This joy is not known by the humanist who embraces and seeks what he rightly or wrongly understands to be the good aspects of unsaved nature.

Many will try to fake it but this joy cannot be faked. For as you read this post – you will know if you have it or not. This joy is the strength of the believer. The WINNER.

Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Glory be to God

 

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The End of the Year

Nehemiah 13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good

The year has ended. The work and role of Nehemiah has ended. His final words seem loaded with thoughts … not quite clear if he is excited about the future…”Remember me, o my God, for good…”  is as a soft plea of a man who is yet to see many personal pains soothed. God cannot forget any, so Nehemiah is not prodding God’s memory …rather, he is appealing for God’s mercy and His goodness to come to his aid. Nehemiah does not say much about his own personal battles, but like all men – surely, he needs God’s help and goodness. Nehemiah puts himself last in the restoration story that he narrates. A selfless Nehemiah puts himself last in the intercessions made concerning the rebuilding of lives and the correction of destines. There are days like this when in your prayer closet, you go to God saying “this time its me crying for help…”

Nehemiah does not assess or trumpet his achievements. He disregards the accolades. He has not yet seen much change in the hearts of the people and wonders if he worked in vain. Like Jeremiah, he often fears that his labours are wasted.  Did the people listen? Will they go back to their old ways once he is gone… does anybody really care? But Nehemiah knows he can have confidence in his God. There is a quiet surrender mixed with confidence in God.  The contributions of Nehemiah are done. Now, rest.

Nehemiah has done well, but knows better than to plead his own goodness. He pleads the goodness of his God. As you enter the New Year … my prayer is that God will reveal His overshadowing and awesome goodness afresh to you.  I pray that God’s goodness will erase the memory of days of tears, difficulty and pains. I pray God’s goodness will heal all your hurts and give you victory in trials known to God so you can have His rest in 2016. I pray that that which God has rebuilt will never again be brought down again by His enemies.

But how will God remember you in the previous year. God does not count as men do. Will God remember you for any good? When your works in the year are all burnt …will anything still stand? I fear there is so much that is vain – not done for God or by God, that God only forbears. Let the New Year be a different year. May your life in 2016 count for something with God.

Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Finally, do remember to be watchful as the love of many waxes cold, it is those who endure to the very end who enter God’s eternal kingdom. God bless you. Have a wonderful New Year. Keep burning hot and glowing in the coming year.

Verses for further meditation
Judges 16:28; Col 4:18

Thoughts for Business and the work place
God’s measures and standards are much higher than those of men.

Suggestions for Prayer
Lord, I pray for all the leaders reading this devotional. Remember them all for good. Amen

 

As Nehemiah’s wall was built, so will we see a reconstruction in all that may appear in distress and in waste. Nehemiah trusted and feared God, putting his faith in the Almighty whose strength is limitless to exceed all our expectations. Look out daily for Nehemiah’s Wall in 2015 and do invite friends to subscribe to the free email or social media posts. I am praying someone with a burden to be used by God in building will receive a fresh vision and get the job done.

To subscribe to the devotional, please enter your email address (the left column) above the “subscribe” button (and enter on the green button). God bless you.

Recessionproofchristianlife.com is a privately owned blog/media site started in 2009 as the internet ministry of the author. It promotes the absolute authority and divine inspiration of the Holy Bible as the Word of God – Infallible and Sufficient.

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