‘The Joy of the Lord is my strength’ is one of the most famous statements in the church, and yet growing up I didn’t know what it meant. I was born and raised in the church and I heard this statement all my life. I heard this statement used when someone was going through a tough time and I could see the look of confusion on their face as to how that was going to help. I even used it to try and console people even though I didn’t know what it meant. I thought it was so simple until I was going through a tough time and realized that I didn’t know what to do with that statement. As I was sitting in class one day, one of my teachers made that statement and the Lord asked if I knew what that meant. And my answer was an emphatic no. So, the Lord began to explain to me what that statement meant, and I will take you on that journey that He took me.
In Nehemiah 8:10, is where we see the statement made. “…Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” This statement was made when the people heard the word of God preached to them and they began to weep in sorrow. So, what did he mean by it? The dictionary defines joy as delight, great pleasure, joyfulness etc. If you replace the word joy with pleasure it will read, “The pleasure of the Lord is my strength.” Hebrew 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If God’s pleasure is my strength, and the way I please God is by faith in Him; then my Faith in God, is my strength.
As I am going through tough times and I choose to believe God in that situation, it places me in His hands and He can work on my behalf. In other words, when I have faith in God, He becomes my strength.