I began to notice something last week. Every time I read about JOY in the Word of God I felt a tinge of excitement go off inside of me! I am not sure if this is something that happens to every Christian when they come across scriptures that mention His JOY, or if it is just something that occurs with me. It is almost like I have to stop what I am doing and shout an exclamation of rejoicing and thanksgiving or I might burst!
When this came up again on Friday, I stopped for a moment to consider what had just happened. The first thing that I noticed was that I had a smile on my face and an expectation of God’s best building up inside of me. Then I had the tantalizing thought that JOY might just be God’s secret weapon!
If there is one thing that I have learned through experience over the last six years, it is the importance of the JOY of the Lord working in me… and for me! In some of the darkest moments that I have faced, at those times where the futility of my actions and hopes ferociously attacked my faith, it was the understanding that “the JOY of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV) that set me to rejoicing in expectation of the truth of His Word and lift me above the conflict of doubt and unbelief raging against me.
Colossians 1:13 in the Contemporary English Version tells us that “God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” The personal revelation of that verse alone is enough to build my JOY to the point of rejoicing before the Lord and laughing at the senseless lies of the enemy of our faith… can you shout “Amen!”
The encouragement coming from Nehemiah, Ezra the priest and scribe and the Levites to the children of Israel in Nehemiah 8:10 came in reference to what the people were feeling when they looked at the futility of the situation they faced as they observed the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem. The leaders had begun to read and teach the Word of God to them and the folks in the crowd began to weep. But the leaders emphatically told them that this was not the time to be sad, but to be glad for “the JOY of the Lord will make you strong.” (Easy-to- Read Version)
As I look at this verse, I can begin to see why or how JOY is God’s secret weapon for us His people. Can you imagine the consternation on the devil’s face when he saw the people wipe away their tears of hopelessness and replace them with shouts of JOY because of their increasing faith in God and His Word? Can you just imagine the consternation on the devil’s face when he sees you and me break into shouts of JOY when things begin to fall apart… because we choose to trust not in what we see but in what the infallible Word of God has to say about our situation?
Hummm… that alone is enough to get me to want to be full of the Lord’s JOY… how about you? It would seem that you and I have a secret weapon that the world, the devil and the forces of evil cannot contain! And it is the JOY of the Lord bursting from our mouths, exercised through our faith, and demonstrated by a smile, a dance and an unshakeable trust in God and the truth of His Word.
And you know? It is probably the only weapon that we do not have to have a concealed weapons permit to carry! Have a great week ahead. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s SECRET WEAPON am I expecting to carry today?”