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 8:10 (NKJV)
Joy means happiness, pleasure, bliss, and ecstasy to the world. Since most followers of Jesus Christ have come from a worldly background, it is easy to confuse the joy of the Lord with those emotions. However, the joy that comes from knowing the Lord and following Him is far beyond fleeting feelings of happiness. It is a sense of peace and contentment in knowing that one day we will be in heaven with our Most High God and the Lord Jesus forever.
If the enemy, Satan, can steal our joy, he has won half the battle. The devil loves to lead believers into a state of anxiety, fear, or worry. That is one of the ways he gets our focus off the joy of the Lord. If our hearts are broken, we are more likely to succumb to his tactics. One reason it is so important for us to cling to the joy of the Lord in spite of our situations is that it gives us strength against the enemy.
The joy of the Lord is our strength and remembering Almighty God’s marvelous works will help us to receive His joy and to sing to the Lord. Traumatic experiences weaken our hearts and spirits and the only true and lasting remedy is healing through Jesus Christ. The most incredible thing that the One True God has done for all of us is that He sent Jesus to this earth in order for us to be offered forgiveness for our sins and healing for our broken hearts. We must thank God for that and talk about it, because it is very healing to talk of all His wondrous works and it fills us with His joy!
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
The fact that Jesus died a horrific death is nothing to rejoice about if He had not also risen from the dead. The disciples and His family were overcome with emotional pain before they realized that His promise to be resurrected was to be taken literally. Once they saw Jesus alive again, they rejoiced!
Since we have the blessing of knowing that Jesus’ death was not the end of the story, we should enthusiastically REJOICE! The more often we remember and meditate on the fact that Father God gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us and that Jesus rose from the dead, the more we will be able to rejoice. The Father and the Son love us deeply and eternally. No person can come close to that magnitude of love for us.
Our broken hearts are no excuse not to rejoice in the Lord. However, the devil uses the emotional and spiritual pain in our hearts and spirits to bring discouragement and despair into our minds, hearts and spirits. That is why we must obey God’s Word faithfully and rejoice in the Lord. As we rejoice in God and all He has done for us, we are filled with His joy. That strengthens and heals us in ways that are unseen, but more real and lasting than the world’s solutions for pain and trauma. The joy of the Lord is our strength and it helps heal our broken hearts.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Psalm 100:2 (AMP)
Serving the Lord can look very different, depending on our culture, our environment, our maturity level, and the stage or season of our life. Everyone, including mothers, fathers, students, teachers, doctors, business owners, employees, farmers, shepherds, missionaries, and ministers, can serve the Lord in their daily lives. For example, children can serve the Lord by being respectful and obedient to their parents.
As we do whatever the Lord has given us the opportunity to do in this life, we should do it with gladness and delight. However, a broken heart can dampen our ability to feel glad. Joyful singing may seem impossible at times. We may even become numb to feelings of gladness and joy as a result of the pain and trauma that we have experienced. Anything that inhibits our capacity for joy and gladness must be addressed and resolved. The pain and trauma that caused our hearts to be broken can steal our joy and strength.
Jesus Christ can release emotional pain and trauma from our hearts and spirits. He alone can heal the brokenhearted in a lasting way. We cannot serve the Lord in freedom until we have received healing for painful and traumatic situations that have caused the numbing of our emotions. The Lord wants us to joyfully sing to Him. We must ask Him to heal our hearts and spirits from whatever may be preventing us from doing so. A personal relationship with Jesus is the key to the restoration of joy in our hearts, minds and spirits. That joy gives us the ability to serve the Lord with gladness and delight.
When our hearts are broken, we must stand up against what the devil has done in our lives by embracing the joy of the Lord. If we allow the pain we have experienced to determine our outlooks on life, the enemy will be victorious and we will be miserable. However, as we rejoice in what Jesus did for us, we will be blessed and our hearts and spirits will be strengthened. The joy of the Lord is our strength!