Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
I am in an intercessors group and a couple weeks ago we took the time to pray for each individually. The theme that emerged while people prayed for me was: JOY. People prayed the Nehemiah verse over me. One lady discussed how this joy was meant to be a wall. In Nehemiah the people had just finished building the wall of Jerusalem for protection. Now Nehemiah was telling them that in their lives joy should be their spiritual walls, it should be the thing they hide behind for protection.
Isn't God good? This was a word I needed to hear at the time and need it even more now. I've been consciously trying to apply this in my life. Vacation provided an "easy opportunity" to apply joy but the second I left my vacation it has been something I have had to fight for. And it is worth fighting for.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face
trials of many kinds, because you know that the
testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I've really been learning that you have to ask for these things when you don't have them. God is a generous God and He gives generously to those who ask. During times of testing is a good time to ask.
My daughter woke up this morning singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be around my kids everyday. They continue to teach me childlike faith and joy. It is easy to be joyful when you trust the hearts of your parents. I suppose, it would be easier to have joy if we trust the heart of our Father.
I will blog about it in the near future but the biggest thing I learned on vacation is that God is SOOO Big and we are soooooo small. It is a joy to know that I am a daughter of God. May you find joy in the Lord this day; may it be your strength through the ups and downs of life.
PS Thank you for all your prayers for little Nevaeh. She still needs them! http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nevaehw