The Joy of the Lord

Nehemiah said to the people, ’Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10). Does my strength lie in the Lord’s joy? Or is it my joy in His love for me that gives me strength to confidently walk with Him? He formed me from the dust of the earth and said, “This is good.” As sons and daughters of Adam we all have the same foundation. I am the work of His hands and His treasured possession, born into joy and created in His image. The shadow of His wings has become my shield and my protection.

I’m safe and secure, sustained by His provision and His nurture. I don’t have to perform or strive to earn His favour. I just need to be me, as I am. I am loved and cherished, formed by the Master Craftsman. For what purpose? - To give Him pleasure. The wonder is I don’t have to do anything to attain this, only receive and live in the blessings of His love. ‘Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8).

This is the blueprint for my life: born to give pleasure to my Creator and to know His joy in the core of my being. Building on this foundation, I continue to seek out my purpose and destiny to fulfil the potential that is born in me. This is dependent upon Him and my willingness to conform to His will. ‘I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart’ (Psalm 40:80).

As a seed planted in the soil grows and blossoms, it produces more seeds, which can then be scattered abroad, eventually to cover the whole earth. This is also God’s purpose for humanity. We’re called to share His blessings with mankind, and so bring His light into a fallen world which is shrouded in darkness. My part is to share my life as part of Him, motivated by the Holy Spirit, which is His power in me to fulfil my potential. ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14).

We are continually bombarded by the hostility of this world. We’re subjected to the expectations of humanity and pressured to conform to a way which is fundamentally alien to God’s purpose for our life. If I remain faithful to my true identity in Him and look to Him for all things, I can carry the joy of the Lord with me in all that I am and do and know an eternal relationship with my Creator.

My joy in Him or His joy in me? - The beauty of it is, I can have it both ways.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, to know You is to love You. To love You is to be loved by You. Let this be the foundation of my life on which I stand, firm and secure, that I may be a light to those in dark places. I pray for my friends and family, and all around me, that they too would see the light of life and know the strength of Your joy in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Luke 6:22-23, NIV


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Today's Writer

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

Ron Scurfield

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