Joy is Our Strength
Rain Falls on All
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:43-48
Key Verse: Nehemiah 8:10
“… for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
There is one thing that all of us need and that is strength! Jesus made it clear that we cannot follow Him simply to avoid hard times in life:
“… For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45).
In other words, good things and bad things happen to all people whether they trust in Jesus or reject Him completely. However, God gives His grace, peace, and strength to those who have trusted in Jesus and are living according to His teachings.
The inner strength that Christ-followers have is due to their joy in the Lord. Remember, the joy of the Lord, as we have said many times in these devotionals, is different from happiness.
Joy in the Lord is that underlying assurance that all God’s promises are ours and God always keeps His promises! What does this look like in everyday life?
When life presents us with problems, we can bring God into it right away by praying. Of course, we still must face our problems. But, if we do not ask God to help us, we can suffer unnecessary anxiety and stress about our problems.
I believe there is a promise of God for any problem we face. As we read our Bibles and stay faithful to stay in a Bible-centered church, we grow in our ability to know what these promises are!
The more promises of God we know, the more joy we have in the Lord. The more joy we have in the Lord, the more strength we build to face life’s problems.
One of the great mysteries in a Christ-follower’s life is: why do many good Christian people face devastating problems in this life?
I think many of us tend to think it is because we’re not living right; we think we have done something to deserve our problems.
However, our scripture for today helps us realize that God never promised us that we will avoid the challenges of living in this sinful world. When we face our problems, we must not start blaming ourselves simply because we have them.
Obviously, sometimes we do make bad choices which cause us problems. (More on this tomorrow).
Father, I am so thankful to relax in your love and promises for my present and future problems. In Jesus’s Name, amen.