THE WORD: The joy of the Lord is our strength

Published 9:42 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

The prophet Nehemiah voiced this memorable phrase “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” What a great affirmation! Then we come to this wonderful phrase, “Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah was a remarkable leader.

When Nehemiah said, “the joy of the Lord is our strength,” I believe he was talking about a kind of joy that grows out of a particular attitude toward life —an attitude that Nehemiah had as a leader.

First, Nehemiah approached life with a positive attitude. A positive attitude grows out of joy and reinforces joy in the believer’s heart. Someone said a pessimist is someone who can look at the land of milk and honey and see only calories and cholesterol. That’s how Nehemiah could have approached his return to his ancestral home. As you read the story of Nehemiah working against great odds and encouraging his men to persevere, you have to be struck by his attitude – the attitude that because God was with him – he would not be defeated. Nehemiah had a positive attitude. And Nehemiah had a powerful purpose. What is your life’s purpose?

There’s a story about Albert Einstein, the brilliant scientist who won the 1921 Nobel Peace Prize. Einstein was known as absent-minded. One day he was traveling by train. After he boarded the train, he couldn’t find his ticket. He checked his coat pockets, pants pockets – nothing. About that time the conductor came along and said, “Mr. Einstein, what’s the problem.” “I can’t find my ticket,” he said. The conductor said, “I know who you are, you don’t need a ticket.” About a few minutes the conductor saw Einstein on his hands and knees looking under the seats. “Mr. Einstein, you don’t need a ticket, I know who you are.” “Yes, I know who I am, too, but I don’t know where I’m going.”

That’s a sad place to be – when you don’t know where you’re going. The happiest people on this earth are people who have a Godly purpose for life. When Nehemiah told the people “The joy of the Lord is our strength,” he was speaking of the joy a positive attitude and the joy of a powerful purpose. He was also speaking of one more thing. Nehemiah has the presence of God in his life.

This is where he got his great attitude, his great purpose and his great joy. This is why he never got discouraged, never drowned himself in despair. God was present with him. God was working through him. Nehemiah had a positive attitude, a powerful purpose, and the presence of the living God within. He had the joy of the Lord in his soul. That was his great strength. Do you have that joy? If not, I hope you will claim it today.

JOHN MOXLEY can be reached at