We all seem to look at joy as if it is in the future. We see it as something we can look forward to, but there is no way we could actually experience it in the here and now. Is this a godly mindset to have? Honestly, not really.
Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. That gives a whole new outlook on life or at least, it should. I love God's Word and how He chose to give us a book that will always lead us in the right direction: directly to Him. He could have left us to figure out this whole life thing on our own, but He didn't. His love for us is so deep.
Let's break down what this verse says. First of all, it says, "the joy of the Lord." This one phrase tells us where true joy comes from, and that is from God. If you have never experienced God, then you have never really experienced joy Himself. You may have felt temporary happiness from the world, but that is a big difference from the everlasting joy from the Creator of the world. You want joy? Come to God, He makes it clear.
The next part says that this joy is our strength. I know that I often times feel so weak and inadequate. I don't feel strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or good enough. Jesus didn't intend for us to live this way though. He wanted us to find strength and to be more specific, to find it in Him. We do not have to rely on our own abilities because the truth is we ourselves are so weak in our flesh. We were created to lean on Someone, and that Someone is waiting to strengthen us with something even more special: joy.
There are days that I feel like I just can't keep going and definitely cannot feel joyful. These are the same days that the Holy Spirit empowers me to claim the promise that Nehemiah 8:10 holds. He provides me with the joy that is only attainable through knowing Him. It doesn't matter what I feel emotionally or what is happening around me; I have internal joy and the promise of eternal life that nothing and no one can ever take away. It is with me forever, and it will only get sweeter in Heaven when I am with the One who literally is joy.
If you are feeling tired or lonely or just plain weak. you do not have to. Ask Jesus to invade your life, and He will come live inside of you. His Holy Spirit will guide you and cause you to feel His presence. Once you feel His presence, you will never want to leave and will realize this joy I have been talking about.
I have recently decided that "joy" is my new favorite word. It is not something that is impossible to obtain; it is something that is promised to me today in this very moment.