His Joy Becomes Our Strength

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.” Nehemiah 8:10 King James Version

Have you ever made this statement to someone when the person was grieving and broken hearted over the loss of someone “I thought Christians were always supposed to be happy when someone died because they knew they would see the person again in Heaven. You tell everyone that you are a Christian so why are you crying?”

I have to be honest and admit that I also have made this thoughtless, unkind and judgmental remark before Jesus filled my heart with compassion for others. May God forgive us for our insensitivity and may we open the door to our hearts wider and allow Him to fill our hearts with more compassion for people. We need to remember that it could be us who have lost a loved one. It doesn’t matter if the loss is due to death, divorce, separation, or any other kind of loss. It still hurts.

I’m reminded of a pastor’s wife who shared this experience with us in a woman’s Bible study group “I used to think that a broken leg was no big deal. I couldn’t understand why people got so upset when one of their family members broke their leg. However, one day my husband broke his leg and then I was the one who was upset. I finally understood that a broken leg really is important and it really is a big deal to the one who is upset.”

When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our personal Saviour, then we have help to keep going in the face of adversity and problems. His joy becomes our strength. However, we must always remember that it is His joy, not our joy that gets us through the hard times. It is our precious Saviour’s joy that becomes our strength when we are brokenhearted and want to go to bed and never get up again. We could never generate that kind of joy even though we try very hard to be joyful at times when we are hurting. The world is filled with too much violence and horror for us to always be joyful. It is our precious Saviour who lives in our hearts that gives us the strength to keep going even when we are brokenhearted and grieving.

I believe that when Jesus hung on that cross of horror and agony that He felt a mixture of feelings. He knew that His Father loved Him but He also knew that everyone else hated Him. I am sure that even though He was comforted because He knew that His Father loved Him very much; His heart was also broken because everyone else had rejected Him and mocked Him.

Even His own Father had to turn away from Him because Jesus had taken our sins on Him. Our Heavenly Father is a Holy God and He can’t look on sin so He had to turn away from His beloved Son. I believe that on that dark and horrible day when our Saviour was crucified that our dear Heavenly Father’s heart was broken into millions of little pieces. I am sure that He cried because as much as He loves His Son, He couldn’t do anything to help His beloved Son.

In two days, I will be twenty eight years old spiritually. It is a day of great rejoicing for me. However, it is also a day of tremendous pain for me because something very painful happened to me on the same day. The memory of that painful event is just as fresh today as it was twenty eight years ago. Without the knowledge that Jesus loves me, I could not get through the day. I would go to bed and stay there.

However, if Jesus loves me enough to hang on a cross of shame and reproach and die for me, I need to die to self and love Him enough to keep going. If you are hurting and brokenhearted, stop trying to be joyful because you will fail every time. Allow Jesus to be your strength and comfort. He loves you very much and He cares when you are hurting.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com

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