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Joy and Strength

As I type up this blog there are several in my church family that are dealing with things that I wish I could take away for them. The question I ask, and you probably do as well is, why? Why do my friends who I love have to go through such terrible situations? In the middle of these trials I watch my friends and how they deal with these situations and what I have noticed is that there is joy. I am not talking about that fake smile when asked the question, “how are you doing?” You don’t get the fake answer. They do not pretend that everything is well and right with the world either. What I notice, and you would as well if you knew what was happening, is that in spite of what is happening in their lives they have found a joy that people outside of Jesus will never understand. How is this possible? Let me share a verse with you in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds the people of Israel of a vital truth.And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

This is not to say that hurt and pain in our lives should not bother us because they are real. I would never dare to minimize the anguish of loss that happens in our lives. I do know that for those of us who have put all our hope and trust in Jesus the Christ that this pain is not the destination, but only a detour to our destination of eternity. We can have joy in the midst of our grief because we know that our Savior promises us that there will be a day when every tear will be wiped away. Death has no hold on us. We can have joy because when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we do not have to fear because our Great Savior is always with us. We will walk through because this valley is not our final destination and death is only a shadow, which means it may pass over us, but it cannot touch us.

Remember this one thing, Jesus came for us to make all things new. I wish I could take away all pain and hurt, but I can’t. I know the One who can and will get us all through it. Then we can all say that the joy of the Lord is my strength.