In the midst of some crazy things going on with family and work I found strength in focusing not on how God can meet my needs for emotional strength in chaotic times but by focusing on where God finds His joy.
God finds joy in his own character! Joy originates from the Lord and joy has the Lord as its object!
- Because He knows Himself...He is not wringing his hands over the chaos in the world.
- Because He knows Himself...He is not sweating over the details.
- Because He knows Himself...He is not flaying about trying to get things done.
- Because He knows Himself...He is not ruffled by actions of men.
- Because He knows Himself…He is not perturbed by the problems that plague humanity.
- Because He knows Himself...He has perspective...He possesses contentment...He is in a continual state of joyful confidence and heavenly calm.
I can find strength in a God who possesses real, genuine, eternal, and finite joy!
His joy strengthens me spiritually, emotionally, and relationally:
- Spiritual strength to enjoy the presence of God, to resist temptation and to stay on mission with God.
- Emotional strength to respond and not react in a crisis, to maintain God’s perspective in chaos and to model the character of Jesus when under pressure.
- Relational strength to give yourself in service to others, to carry the burdens of others and to courageously call others to holiness and fruitfulness.
Charles Hadden Spurgeon preached a powerful message on this text and offers this challenge and exhortation to us all to find our strength in the joy of the Lord.
"You shallow Christians who do but believe in Christ, and barely that, whose bibles are unread, whose closets are unfrequented, whose communion with God is a thing of spasms, you have not the joy of the Lord, neither are you strong. I beseech you, rest not as you are, but let your conscious feebleness provoke you to seek the means of strength: and that means of strength is to be found in a pleasant
medicine, sweet as it is profitable—the delicious and effectual medicine of 'the joy of the Lord'."