“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Jerusalem’s wall had been completed, God’s Word had been honored, and there was a great day of rejoicing. The real joy in the hearts of the people, however, was not their joy—it was the joy of the Lord. They rejoiced because He rejoiced, and they shared His joy.
The Lord’s joy is satisfied when His love is received and His purposes fulfilled. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
To attain His joy, He must first redeem from the penalty of sin and death those whom He had created in His own image. Therefore, He “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
There will be a great day of rejoicing in the age to come when all the redeemed will be presented “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). Until that day, however, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).
Joy is in the Lord’s heart whenever His saving grace is received by a believing sinner. That same joy is likewise experienced by each believer whose testimony of life and word brings such a sinner to God.
Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). His joy is our joy, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. HMM
From Days of Praise