If the joy of the Lord is your strength, as the Bible says, then how come you so often are sad, stressed out and ready to throw in the towel?
Do you have days like that? No strength, no motivation, and you just can’t seem to get out from under the enormity of the pressures. You’re feeling sad and despondent; in fact, it’s as if you’re in mourning.
Mourning, or bereavement, indicates that someone or something you loved has been taken away from you. Regardless of the cause of your distress, the end result is that you have lost your joy. It feels as if your spirit has departed.
Let’s have a look at how others cope with heartaches. King David sure had his share of disasters and close encounters with death! When he found himself with nowhere else to turn, he exclaimed:
“I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
He always had a quick answer to his own cries. Having an intimate relationship with his Lord, and being well versed in Scripture, he knew instantly what His answer would be. His experience was that, if he relied completely on Him, his situation would turn around and his joy be restored.
David would talk to the problem, realizing that it was not his enemy that caused him grief, but rather the way his soul reacted to the circumstances! So, he wondered out loud, why should he allow himself to be sad because someone is threatening to harm him?
Do you talk to yourself? Yes, out loud? It’s good to talk to yourself as you would to a disobedient or sad child. David questioned his soul, and then proceeded to command it to obey the Word of God:
“Why art thou cast down, my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
What a poetic way of describing God’s Love! David knew that his complete trust in God will show outwardly! Yes, once He decided to allow God to take charge, instead of looking sad and fearful, his face will radiate the victory! Why? Because as soon as you make the decision to praise God from your heart for who He is, regardless of your circumstances, then you will experience that:
“Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. (Ps. 42: 8-9,11)
Isn’t that a wonderful portrayal of a loving and consoling God? He is not distant! In fact, Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted, and to comfort all that mourn. He turns: “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isa. 61: 2-3)
He wants to be Lord over your life: all of it. When you’re down, He does not want you to strive in your own strength. Lift up your burden to Him, and He will lift you up. That’s how He will be glorified through you, and you will truly realize that: “the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Neh. 8: 10)