A Call To The Remnant

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For the joy of the Lord is your strength

Posted by appolus on March 16, 2015

Neh 8:10 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.

In Neh chp 8 we see that a solemn assembly has been called. The wall had been completed, the exiles had returned and now they would seek the face of God. Now, in the revival movement of today we recognize well the first nine verses of Nehamiah. The solemn assembly, the reading of Gods word and sermons, the falling on our faces with our faces in the dirt so to speak. In Nehamiah the people wept upon hearing the word of God, they wept upon being convicted of their sins, they wept when they realized how far they had wandered from a Holy God, they wept when they realized just how compromised they had become after years of living in Babylon. In our revival meetings one often witnesses such weeping, such repentance, such dismay at how far we seemed to have wandered from God. The reason is the same today as it was in Nehamiah’s time, the Spirit of conviction falls upon the people and their eyes are opened to their condition and the condition of the church. When we hear Gods law spoken, when we read of it, we can recognize that the law works death to those who violate it even in one part. It strikes terror into the heart. It is true that everyone who finds himself under the law finds himself under a curse, for cursed is the man who violates even one part of it. And so they wept, and so we weep today at our current condition. Yet , praise the Lord we are not under the curse of the Law. It is a good sign to see a tender heart, a broken and a contrite heart, yet even in the day of Nehamiah’s reading of the Word, we find that it was a feast day.

The seasons of God are good and there is a time for weeping and mourning. Yet, if that is all that we have, if we live forever in a perpetual winter of weeping and mourning, whether that is in our personal walk or in our ministries, then nothing will ever grow. We will not grow in the knowledge of God. Yes, there is conviction in the presence of God. There is a time to rent our clothes and throw dust on our heads, yet if this one season becomes the whole then we render ourselves weak and ineffectual. Our real strength comes in the Joy of the Lord. If we cannot put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness then we will not stand in the evil day. We will be overcome by trial and tribulation and persecution. When the Israelites were captured and taken away from Jerusalem, their captors sat them down by the river of Babylon and taunted them. They said to them, lets hear your songs of Zion, your songs of victory now. And the Israelites, once famous for their songs of praise to God, hung their harps on the willow trees, unable to sing, overcome in spirit in their defeat. The enemy had not only robbed them of their earthly freedom, they had robbed them of their joy, they no longer had a song in the night. The willow tree represents sadness, weeping. Can you imagine how powerful it would have been if the Israelites, trusted in a mighty God to eventually redeem them. It is a mark of God’s saints that they can praise the Lord their God despite their circumstances. It is a fruit in the lives of those with deep soil, deep roots, who can, in the heat of trial reach down into the depths of their lives and experiences with God which has been built on trust and the never changing word of God, and rejoice in the sure knowledge that God is with them and has already redeemed them.

This joy leads to praise, this praise leads to joy. And the outpouring of this joy and praise allows the saint to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint, to mount up with with wings as eagles because every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isa 40:4-5)

2 Responses to “For the joy of the Lord is your strength”

  1. usafbeth said

    When I was young in the Lord, I spent too much time in the weeping and repentance phase. I finally heard God tell me to take off the rags and put on the robe of righteousness He had given me. He told me to lift up my face and look into His to find my joy. .

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