Thursday, March 17, 2011
The Joy of the Lord
"These things I have spoken to you so that My Joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:11
"Do not be grieved, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
So, I thought I would write a blog on the joy of the Lord, and I am finding it is hard to limit to 600 words or less (that's the amount of words that my husband thinks will keep people's attention and I think he's right). This is an interesting topic, one that I am going to take a few posts to discuss with you.
Notice I wrote "discuss." That implies a response from you.
In our ladies Bible study we have been memorizing John 15 and I am a few verses ahead of the gang, only because I started earlier than they did - not because I am an over-achiever. This week, my verse is the one above. Jesus is explaining how to abide in Him and how to bear fruit, the benefits of being a fruit-bearer and the consequences of being barren in the fruit category.
Then He says that the reason He has instructed us is so that His joy would be in us, making our joy full. I started pondering the Joy of the Lord and this led to word and phrase searches.
What makes God joyful? Does anything make Him joyful or is He simply joyful because He is God? When He is pleased, does this increase His joy? Are there times He isn't joyful or because He is God, does His joy always abound?
I am not sure I have the answer to all of these questions, but I want to expound on some of them. I think what pushed me into this is the verse in Nehemiah that says "...the joy of the Lord is your strength." I think the very fact that my strength comes from God's joy means that His joy is unlimited and never-ending.
So I am going to start by posing a question to you:
What is the joy of the Lord?
Oh, don't worry - I don't think you will give me wrong answers. Probably the sum of what we discuss will embody truth, so don't hesitate to comment.