JM’s Journal: Finding the Joy of the Lord

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Finding the Joy of the Lord

Cultivating Deeper Communion with God

by J.M. Troppello

The devotional I read today from the Turning Points magazine by Dr. David Jeremiah really resonated with me. It hit me hard because God has been dealing with me on truly focusing on Him, embracing the joy of the Lord each day, and not allowing negative circumstances to derail my progress in growing in my walk with God.

Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:1-10, NKJV)

In this passage from Nehemiah that was included in the devotional for further reading, it depicts when Ezra read and explained the Law to the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding. The Thomas Nelson Study Bible (TNSB) states that those who could hear with understanding referred to older children who could comprehend the words spoken that day.

The part that resonated with me is found in verse ten when the people were told that this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

That made me think. Is the joy of the Lord my strength? Have I allowed God to strengthen me with His joy each day?

The TNSB note is powerful:

“The joy of the Lord could refer to the joy that God has, but the context indicates that this is something the people also experienced. The joy of the Lord is the joy that springs up in our hearts because of our relationship with the Lord. It is God-given gladness found when we are in communion with God. When our goal is to know more about the Lord, the by-product is His joy. Strength here means ‘place of safety,’ a ‘refuge,’ or ‘protection.’ The people’s refuge was God. They had built a wall and they carried spears and swords, but God was their protection.”

Wow! I love that explanation of that passage of Scripture. Have you been embracing the joy of the Lord in your life? Do you know that He is your strength?

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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