Pristine Grace

Do Not Be Grieved, For the Joy of the Lord Is Your Stength
by Brandan Kraft
Do Not Be Grieved, For the Joy of the Lord Is Your Stength

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10

    As we continue in our walk of faith, we will at times find ourselves tempted to be discouraged and also disappointed in many different things.  And this is a daily thing, at least for me.  When I find myself committing sin, over and over and over again, it never seems to end.  I'm tempted to be discouraged.  But the Lord reminds me that all that sin - even future sin is done away with in Christ.  And like Nehemiah stated, I should remember, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."  

    When sickness comes, and takes away from me those that I love, I should remember, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

    When problems arise at work, or I'm dealing with a tricky financial situation, I should remember, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

    When people want to do me harm, I should remember, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

    And when others disappoint me, even my loved ones, I should remember, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

    If the joy of the Lord is my strength, then it stands to reason that without joy, I'm very weak.  In other words, I should be joyful at all times.  And I should be joyful not just for the good times, but also for the bad times.  Yes, there is joy at the end of our journey, on our pilgrimage, when we get to heaven and get to see our Savior face to face.  But this joy in Christ that I have now is the energy that I need to get me to that destination.  

    And when I look around and can begin to more clearly see all the sin within me, within the church, and all the abominations of this crazy world, it causes me to look outside myself and away from others to Christ.  It is His marvelous and perfect righteousness that shines more brightly.  My disappointment with myself and others, as painful as it is, gives me the opportunity to look to Christ with even more fervency.   When God's people are broken, hurting, and bewildered by the things around them, it truly is the joy of the Lord that becomes their strength.  

    Our best performance, our spouses, our churches, its pastors, our institutions, and anyone or anything that we highly esteem, they are completely undeserving of our faith.  But Christ is.  And He is faithful.  He is worthy.  And He is altogether lovely.  And unlike everything else, He will never disappoint and will provide us with the joy that we need.