How many times have we heard that expression? It is only spoken once in the Bible. We have heard it in preaching; we have even sung about it. I’ve always thought, if I am happy in God, then I am strong.
Maybe that’s true, but what if my strength is determined by my bringing God joy? So, how do I bring God joy? Well, let’s go to the book of Nehemiah, chapter 8:1-13. I know that’s a long reading, so let me paraphrase it for you. They just finished building the walls of Jerusalem, which had been burnt and in ruins for several decades. The people gathered together, and Ezra read the laws of Moses. They bowed their heads, and they worshiped. What sticks out to me is in the 13 verses, we see a form of the word “understand” six times. Ezra wanted to make sure they understood what he was reading. And in verse 10, “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
“And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” (Nehemiah 8:12)
We know God is pleased with worship and reverence, but I believe He is joyful when we understand and obey His Word. If we truly understood His Word, we wouldn’t be murmuring, complaining, and worrying. Surely that is strength, and I want that, don’t you?