Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלוהים) says:
If I ask you what the source of your strength is, what would you say? You may not know this, but I am very clear about what the source of your strength is: The joy of the LORD is your strength.
I am your source. I made you. All life and power comes out of Me into you and fuels your life, breath, and being. But though all live because of Me and cannot exist without Me even now, not all are walking strong and courageous.
Why? Because they have not taken hold of the joy that I am flowing to you if you will just settle down and receive it. It is impossible to be depressed and strong at the same time. A sputtering wick is about to die out, it needs to be lifted up and lit. If your eyes are good (unfolded, simple, open) you are filled up with light as if a bright lamp was shining in and on you. But if your eyes are bad (folded, blinded, seeing only evil, the bad side of things) then the light in you is darkness, you have covered the wick in your lamp and it is smoldering, and getting dimmer and dimmer until it will be snuffed out.
What makes your eyes light up? Joy. When you have joy, pure unfolded open joy.
Not everyone would see joy as the source of strength, but it is, that is, My joy, not the fleeting joy of sin, and you will find My joy in My Word and I share My Word with you so that your joy may be complete.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:11.
Jeremiah knew where his joy came from and his joy burned brightly even in the midst of persecution for speaking My Words to the king and leaders of his day. It made him like a solid wall of brass.
Your Words were found and I ate them, and Your Words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16.
What do you see as your source of strength? Is it just others around you or our own health? If it is, you will live in fear of losing your strength.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31.
If you make man your strength you are looking at a wrong source, for mere human strength does not endure. And mere human joy will not endure for it is based on temporal circumstances, which fluctuate rapidly.
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright. Psalm 20:6-8.
In this passage of My Word you see that I save My anointed ones with the saving strength of My right hand and with My Name. And that those who trust in human strength and physical weapons and vehicles fall while you rise and stand with head held high. I am the lifter of your countenance.
So you see the source is in Me flowing to you in the anointing, the saving strength of My right hand, and My Name, but what are those? I am asking you to go deeper. I am looking for you to go the fountainhead, the very source of strength and the way to guard and keep that strength charged and in full force forever.
But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return and come with joyful singing and shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:9-10.
You who are in Christ Jesus are anointed with His anointing, for He is your High Priest and He has released you from your sins by His blood and made you a kingdom, priests unto Me. And you know what I anointed Him with that made Him strong to endure the cross and accept its shame for the goal of setting you free to be the YOU I made you to be, Oaks of Righteousness.
It is the anointing that destroys the yoke and lifts the burden. The anointing makes you strong. And I am very clear about what Jesus was anointed with and what the source of your strength is. I anointed Him with the oil of joy and My joy is your strength. Come share your Father’s joy!
And I tell you that I anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power. And that is the saving strength from My right hand. Jesus ascended back to Heaven took His seat at My right hand having purified from all your sins and received the promise of the Holy Spirit from Me and poured Him on you, the body of the anointed One (Christ), the Church on earth.
And My Spirit is the living fountain of joy. Love produces joy. It is in the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in you.
For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17.
Without Me you can do nothing but that is not the end, others have Me in ways of salvation and are even indwelt by the Spirit, but have no joy. They quench and grieve the Spirit and walk in the flesh. You have to have My joy to be strong and to protect what you have and who are in Christ from the thief who comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to steal the joy that makes you strong and keeps you in a secure fortress—surrounded with the shield of My good Will.
“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and he (the devil) will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.” Deuteronomy 28:47-48.
The devil knows if he can get you to grumble and complain about things or if he can shame you, blame you, put guilt on you, then he can pull you into darkness, depression, and discontent you will have no strength to resist him and he can put you under his iron yoke of slavery. But you have the antidote if you will just tap into it and let it pour till you overflow.
In that day his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck; and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27
And what is that anointing oil?
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows. Psalm 45:7.
Jesus loved righteousness and hated wickedness and I anointed Jesus, and His anointing flows to you who are in Him, with the oil of joy. And if you read the passage of Isaiah in its entirety that He read from the scroll in the synagogue in Nazareth as His mission statement you will find that He came:
To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3.
And now look what I tell you what I say about Jesus as your great High Priest and Messiah:
But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:8-9.
Now let us look at the Scripture where I tell you that My joy is your strength. But I would like to share it with you in the context of what took place that brought forth those words and in the language in which it was first written under the inspiration of My Spirit, that is, Hebrew.
Nehemiah was one of the ones taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar when he conquered Jerusalem because the king and people refused to follow the admonitions, warnings and advice I gave them through Jeremiah. When the years of their captivity that Jeremiah prophesied had been fulfilled, My prophets were speaking to bring the people back as I had promised. I watch over My Word to perform it and I did just that though it looked impossible, but nothing is impossible to Me and I love to do the impossible for those who seek Me with their whole hearts and turn to Me with confident faith in the most dire situations, fully persuaded that I will fix it and make them come out better than before it begun. And that should give you joy, which will give you strength to stand your ground until you win your prize.
Well, I answered their prayers and fulfilled My Word and I sent them back with funds from the pagan kings to rebuild My temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Among those specifically sent back to Jerusalem by the Persian king Artaxerxes were Ezra, the priest scribe who loved My Word and gave his heart to teach the people who returned to rebuild the temple and the walls the My Law, Ezra 7:1-28, and Nehemiah who became the governor in charge of the rebuilding of the walls, Nehemiah 2:1-20. Many returned to Jerusalem under Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, and it all related back to the decree of Cyrus, of whom the prophet Isaiah wrote before he was even born. I reveal things to My prophets so that they set things in motion upon the earth to bring My plans of salvation to pass. I funded the return of the exiles and the rebuilding of My temple and Jerusalem with the treasuries of the nations who had destroyed them.
There came a day, after much work of rebuilding that the walls and gates were completed and all the people gathered together as one man in the area in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the priest scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which I had commanded to Israel.
Ezra brought the Law with the Levites at his side to read with him to the people and they took turns reading and explaining the Law to the congregation of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding. They read aloud from sunrise until midday to the men, women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:1-8.
And hearing the Book of the Law, which they had not heard for seventy years, the people wept and wept, their hearts were so overwhelmed.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were teaching the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Stop mourning and weeping.” (This was because all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law.) Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Hush! Because today is holy you should stop being so sorrowful.” Then all the people went to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to enjoy a great celebration because they had understood the words declared to them. Nehemiah 8:9-12.
And after that, having heard of the appointed times in the Book of the Law, since it was the seventh month, they decided to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and did so for a full eight days. And day by day, from the first day to the last day, Ezra read from the Book of the Law and they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly as required. Nehemiah 8:13-18.
Do you notice the context here? The joy came from hearing My Word, understanding it, and knowing it was for them. I have put My Words in your mouth and My Spirit upon you and that is My Covenant with you. Isaiah 59:21.
Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10.
First I tell you not to grieve and then I tell you why, My joy is your strength. You would be wise to learn this and respond with joyful singing and praise about My forgiveness, lovingkindness, goodness and faithfulness to raise you up when the devil attacks you with grief through remorse and shame, as he tried to do here when the people heard My Words as written by Moses and knew they had not kept them but had sinned against Me.
There are many different Hebrew words that mean “joy.” The word translated “joy” here is the word “chedvah (חֶדְוָה),” which when used is always coupled with strength. “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place.” 2 Chronicles 26-27.
In My presence is fullness of joy. My Kingdom is a kingdom of righteousness, shalom peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you get in the joy flow you will be strong. You will have days of Heaven upon the earth. You are in the world but not of the world, you are of My Kingdom now that you have been born again by receiving Jesus as Lord.
And the word used that is translated strength in the passage from Nehemiah is “maoz (מָעוֹז),” which derives from azaz (עָזַז), which means to be strong, but “maoz” adds another nuance, it means a place or means of safety, protection, a fortified place; a defense, a force, fortress, rock, strength, strong (hold). Here is the secret of why the devil attacked Job and many others who open the door to him through fear and unease.
For the thing which I greatly feared has happened to me, and that which I dreaded has come to me. I am not at peace; I have no quiet, I cannot rest, and turmoil has come.” Job 3:25-26.
Staying in My joy as your joy is the means by which you repel and stay fortified and protected from the attacks of Satan to steal your joy and put you in fear, unease, disease, pain, doubt, depression, and all the other host of tactics and fiery darts he uses to put you under his iron yoke of slavery. But joy is the anointed force that destroys that yoke and lifts the burden.
Now, I will ask you a question, what is the source of your strength? And your answer should be My joy in you. And Jesus gave it to you already on the night of the Last Supper when He made the new and everlasting Covenant with you. John 15:11. He gave you His peace, John 14:27, and He gave you His joy. John 15:11. And all I have is His and all He has is Mine, so you have My peace and My joy. You have no excuse to sit around weeping over your life. Watch out that something worse does not overtake you.
Do not let the devil say about your life, “And my hand has found as a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth and there was no one who moved the wing or opened the mouth or peeped.” Isaiah 10:14.
Happy the people who know the joyful shout! They walk in My light as they enter Zion singing.
I love you. Come into My presence and sing for joy with Me. I surround you with songs of deliverance. Remember the source of your strength, and now that you know, take a big dose of it every day. How? Get filled with the Holy Spirit: “Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-20.