Joy is a state of mind. It is a condition of the heart. Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem. Israel had been exiled for 70 years because of their backsliding. The Babylonians had taken them captive, destroyed their Temple, demolished their walls, burned their city with fire. All that was left was the remnants of what once was. When Nehemiah felt burdened for the remnant of Jewish people still in the land and when he heard of their plight and poverty, he began to Pray and Seek God. He repented for his sins and the sins of his fathers and the whole Nation. Revival always begins with an admission of sin and guilt. Many want to blame this and that. Many want to point fingers at others and make excuses. Honesty comes into to play. Nehemiah became honest and included not only the sins of disobedience of his fathers, but also his own sins. When Nehemiah turned to God and humbly asked for forgiveness, God heard and began the process of revival.
The Scriptures tell us to humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God and He will exalt us. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The Publican went to the house of God and would not even lift his head. He humbly asked God to forgive him because he admitted his sin. The scriptures tell us that if we hide our sin, we will not prosper. We need to repent and ask God to forgive us and restore us. This is what Nehemiah did and God heard him and began the process of restoration.
2 Chronicles 7: 14 If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
What a Great Promise God has given to us all. Humility and repentance will cleanse us and begin the restoration process.
Nehemiah came to a remnant that needed to return to God in their hearts. What he saw was what sin had done. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Nehemiah saw rubble, ruins, disaster, poverty, fear, torment, everywhere he looks was despair. It looked impossible, but Nehemiah challenged the people of Israel to return to the Lord and when they began the re-building process, He reminded them that the Joy of the Lord was their strength. We cannot have Joy and sin in our hearts. We must be cleansed, and forgiven; then Joy will come in.
It is not time to be weak. It is time to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We need to serve the Lord with Gladness. We need to take off heavy burdens and put on Christ. He promised that He came that our Joy might be full and His Joy remain in us.
The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength.
Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness covered the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
In lesson one, we find that GOD created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form, and void and darkness dwelt upon the face of the deep. The Spirit of God moved the face of the deep and spoke.
In our first lesson we saw that without God, nothing is going to happen. Creation is a Sovereign act of Almighty God. He alone is the Creator. He alone is the Author and He is also the finisher. Without Him we can do nothing. When we behold the orderliness of His Creation, we can only say, what a mighty God. The Bible assures us that He declares the end from the beginning. I am glad that He is The Author and Finisher. He that began a good work in us will perform it. That means He will Finish His Work. All things were made by Him and for Him. My Faith and Hope is in Him. He cannot and will not fail.
We also studied that there is a strong comparison between the Empty Void, and Chaos that we find the Earth in and the emptiness and chaos of a soul without God. Transformation begins when the Spirit moves. We need a move of God. We need to invite Him to have His way. We need to yearn for Him and Call upon Him and Seek Him until we find Him and He rains His Righteousness in us.
In Him we are made complete. In Him we move, we breathe and we have our being.
The Second thing that happened in Creation was God Spoke. Also, in a life when the Spirit of God begins His transformation, God speaks his word in us and things begin to happen. We begin the process of being changed into His likeness. Old things begin to pass away and new things begin to develop. We walk in Newness of Life. When God’s word speaks New Hearts are given. Desires and thoughts change. The God of Miracles speaks into us and we are changed into His Image. We are delivered from sin, Chaos is replaced by decency and orderliness. Confusion is replaced by a sound mind. We receive a new heart. We find ourselves hating the things that once ruled over us. We find love instead of hate. We find Peace instead of turmoil. We find joy in place of gloom and despair. Isaiah prophesied about the Savior giving beauty for ashes. The oil of joy in place of mourning. The garment of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness.
God’s Word begins its process of transformation and line upon line, precept upon precept; we are changed and brought into the marvelous light of His Gospel.
We must always have a hunger and appreciation for His Spoken Word. It is the only way that God has chosen to save mankind. It is the Preaching of the Word, the Spoken Word that brings faith and enlightenment and understanding. His Word heals. His Word saves. His Word Transforms un into His image. Let His Word speak into your heart and produce positive results. God chose Preaching to save them that believe.
Believe His Word.
When the Wise Men found The Christ Child, it was a process of searching. They began a Journey that took them approximately two years. Two Years of Travel, Two Years of Searching, Two Years of pursuing, Two Years of Sacrifice, but when They Found Him, They rejoiced with exceeding Great Joy. The Journey was worth it, the Gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh was worth it. The laying aside other and all obligations and things of life was worth it. They Rejoiced with exceeding Great Joy. It does seem that the more effort, the more it costs us and the more we involve ourselves in any pursuit, when we find what we were searching for or accomplishes the task, we feel great satisfaction and joy. Our search for Christ should and does involve a lifetime pursuit of seeking Him. We seek for Him on more than one endeavor, it is a lifetime of seeking and finding. Sometimes in life we face pain and suffering, we face uncertainties and difficulties. We face Sorrow and Discouragement, but when we turn our hearts towards the Savior we will find and our find will be Great Joy.
The Bible assures us that when we search for Him with all our hearts, then we will find Him. The Search is well worth it, because at the end when we find Him it causes us Great Joy. Joy is a State of the Mind. I have never been disappointed in Him. He is the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. The is Living Waters and Manna from Heaven. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. In Him dwells all the fullness of God. In Him I am complete. Oh what a Savior, Oh what a Gracious and Compassionate God. He is worth the Journey, He is worth any amount of pain and suffering. He is The Pearl of Great Price. He is the Buried Treasure awaiting to be discovered.
I read that The Wise men’s lives were changed and they went home another way. Their Pursuit of The Christ paid off. They left Rejoicing. We too when we seek Him with all our hearts, we will never be the same again. When You seek Him for Salvation, He not only forgives and pardons you, He fills you with His Holy Spirit. It is Christ in us the Hope of Glory. When You submit yourself as the Wise Men did as Your King, you will be blessed and Receive Joy Unspeakable and fullness of Glory.
I also read in the Book of Acts that a Ethiopian Eunuch went to Jerusalem to Worship, He was returning home and was reading in the Book of Isaiah about Prophecies concerning The Christ. God saw that hungry heart and saw his intent on finding something of great value. Aren’t you glad that He sees Hunger, He hears the desperate cry, He sees and knows our desire. As the Psalmist said, when We delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our Heart. Notice the Delighting comes before the giving of the desires. The Eunuch was intercepted by Phillip and Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading and the Eunuch said how can I except some man show me. Philip began at those scriptures and preached Christ unto Him. The Eunuch requested to be Baptised, and when Philip baptized Him, He was filled with the Spirit and when on His Way Rejoicing. He was a seeker and as God Promised, when we search for Him with all our hearts we will find Him. He is the Cause of Great Rejoicing.
Rejoice in the Lord and again, I sayRejoice. Wise Men Still Seek Him and when they do, They Find and Rejoice!
Joy is a state of the mind. We all need more joy. I have found that nothing gives true, lasting joy like Jesus. Men look for joy in many wrong places. They make a critical error by thinking that they can get joy from things. Many things did not give the rich young ruler in the Bible Joy. When he was challenged to go and seel all that he had and give to the poor and then take up his cross and follow Jesus, he walked away very sad. His many things wasn’t much of a solace or comfort. Things didn’t satisfy. Actually, Joy comes from Jesus. He said that He came that our joy might be full and that His Joy might be in us.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
As we consider the spelling J O Y ; J = stands for JESUS, O = stands for others, and Y = stands for yourself.
When we bless Jesus and honor Him and put him first in our lives we will find the true meaning and the beginning of Joy. The Bible says that in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of Joy. As we crown Jesus Lord of our lives we will begin to experience Joy. The scriptures also tell us that the kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. Notice that Righteousness comes before Peace and Joy, Also note that Peace comes before Joy. When we Crown Jesus Lord of our lives and seek first His Kingdom, we will begin to experience Great Joy. Again note that it’s first righteousness. Righteousness is a prerequisite to Peace and Joy. The More of Jesus we get in our hearts the greater peace we will have and then the more Peace we have with od and man, the more Joy we have.
The Key is to Bless Jesus by making him Lord.
Bless Others and do good unto them.
Then Bless Yourself. Never curse yourself, you are God’s Creation and as a Believer in Him, we are commanded to show forth good works.
Get The Joy of the Lord.