“The joy of the Lord is my strength!” Can’t you just hear a chorus of young Bible school voices singing off key?
Funny, it just struck me today what that song really means. I re-read the verse the way I actually believe it, “When I feel strong, then I am joyful.”
“I’m so proud you. You are so strong to be happy and functional when your husband deploys for a year,” numerous people have encouraged me regarding my husband’s Army career. However, God’s joy makes me strong, not the other way around. The feeling of complete satisfaction in Christ enables me to feel strong in difficult circumstances. So where do I get this joy, so that I can have strength to endure deployments, deaths, economic downturns, weather-related tragedies, fears and physical pain?
Jesus said, in John 15, that we must obey His commandments in order to abide in His love. He said these things so that we could have His complete joy. So, this joy comes from Jesus and I stay connected to Christ by obeying Him. Then, if I have His joy – I am strong!
Obedience = Abiding in Jesus = Joy = Strength
In the entire equation, there is no addition. Nothing added to Christ can complete our joy, make us strong or give us salvation. Christ and Christ alone has accomplished all that concerns us.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Ps. 138:8
“O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.” Is. 26:12