…Do not sorrow for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b.

 The story was told of a woman who was discouraged because of the many problems in her life. As she walked down the street, she met a fellow believer who asked, “How are you today?” With a sour look and a bitter shrug she replied, “Oh, not too bad — under the circumstances.” The other person quickly replied, “Well, get above the circumstances! That’s where Jesus is.” The problem is, she focused on her circumstances. Now, what are you focusing on?

Even Prophet Habakkuk lived in a time of great despondency. But he chose a different attitude: he chose to be joyful! Henry Bosch wrote of him, “He looked to the future not with pessimistic fears of what else could go wrong, but with faith in God no matter what would happen. Even if he lost all his possessions, he would continue to trust in the Lord.”

The truth is, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Through a night of turmoil, the joy of the Lord will make you see the sunshine and carry you above the clouds of stormy situations. The joy of the Lord is your strength.

In spite of his many troubles, David too chose to put his trust in God. Even when the Amalekites plundered their camp and took captive their wives and children, the Bible states that he encouraged himself in the Lord. It is impossible to be encouraged and be weak in faith at the same time.

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Strengthened by the joy of the Lord, David pursued his enemies and recovered all. It is therefore no wonder that someone once said that if the devil cannot steal your joy he cannot keep your goods. So why not change your approach towards your challenge today? You can choose to be joyful.

The question then becomes: “How can I be joyful in the midst of these problems?” The first thing you must realise is that joy comes from the Lord. Make Him the Lord of your life; yield total control to Him. Sing a song of praise, play a praise/worship CD and sing along. Read a hymn, attend a testimony service and recall the many testimonies or blessings you have received from Him in times past. And like one young man who was passing through a crisis always told himself, tell yourself, “This too shall pass!” And it definitely will in Jesus’ name. Write me to share your testimonies so we can rejoice together.

Now, the joy of the Lord comes only through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Have you surrendered your life to Him? You can make Him your Lord and personal Saviour today by praying this prayer:

Lord Jesus, I confess that You are Lord. I believe You died and rose from the dead for my sake. Forgive my sins. Be my Lord. Fill me with Your Spirit. Help me to live my life to Your glory henceforth. In Your Most Precious Name I have prayed.

Pastor Taiwo Odukoya