Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Joy of the Lord = Strength...strength series #12


What is the strength we are talking about? What is it that we need to hang on to when life's storms have hit hard, when we are afraid, when the breaking has left us weak and grasping...when we need amnesty from our own choices?  It is a strength beyond our own...and joy isn't even on our radar.  In fact joy seems to be reserved for lighter times - for the delight in watching children grow, or two lives being joined in marriage, or celebrating blessings.  In a storm, we need toughness, determination, ingenuity, sweat and tears to make it through...we may need more help, armor to put over our vulnerabilities, a champion, a protector.  We need:
 
A strong or fortified place, a defense, a fortress;
a place or means of safety, protection, refuge, harbour, stronghold.


This "Joy of the Lord" is a unique joy...it is His joy, something we can only have through Him. It is beyond human achievement; above even the sweetest life events.

The following is a repost from something I wrote in January of last year {you can read it here}.  This use of joy is only in three verses of Scripture - Nehemiah 8:10, I Chronicles 16:27 and Ezra 6:16.  Each of these passages has to do with a dedication of the house of God.  Joy is found in the house of God, where His Presence is...and while this was an actual physical place in Old Testament times, it is our very own heart that is now, the house of the Lord, where He dwells...incredible!
Joy.
  spelled in Hebrew - chedvah: 
  (with very brief definitions):
 cheit - a (protecting) fence, an inner room
dalet - door
vav - a nail, peg (that holds or anchors)
hey - behold, breath of God 
 And so I now have my own definition of joy;
the joy that equals strength:

So, simply said, true joy comes by first, life - new life, God's life (cheit), protected by God's presence... then comes the door (dalet), the entrance to that life, through Jesus... And it is when our earthly life is "hooked" or nailed together with God (vav), that our lives are made solid and secure... and our lives are infused with His breath (hey), His Presence within our hearts. 

My heart and my life can become the fragrance of His breath to others. 
True joy is when I become the temple of God.  The joy of the Lord is when I become His temple, His Spirit residing within...and that is the source of my strength as well...His Presence in me...


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