joy600 by Malik Bhai, Freepik.comthe joy of the Lord is your strength

The church is not always marked with joy. I can remember as a young believer laughing and joking with friends after a church service and being reprimanded for not behaving in a proper fashion within the church building.
The world watches on and dismisses the church for being lifeless, dull, boring and irrelevant. However, when joy is expressed, we are termed ‘happy clappy’. We can’t win!
But the joy that comes from knowing Jesus and all that He brings - forgiveness, freedom and life and the joy that comes by the fruit of the Holy Spirit can be irrepressible. Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian Christian who was imprisoned for his faith would dance for joy in his cell, such was the presence of the Lord with him.
In Nehemiah ch8 v9-10 it says, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’
There is a time to celebrate and be glad. May our rejoicing be grounded in all that Jesus has done for us and as a result of our willing service.

(image by Malik Bhai,


Geoff Lawton, 12/06/2016