I have a little journal which I use to essentially "preach at myself." Each page has a quote or scripture verse which serves to provoke thought. Yesterday's verse was Nehemiah 8:10, "The joy of the LORD is your strength" and, like all scripture, it got me to thinking.
IS the joy of the LORD my strength? Is my strength rooted in the LORD? Life changes, hopes fall through, temporary pleasures are exactly that and the sum total of what we might put our hope in - other than the LORD - will eventually let us down. But the LORD! The LORD will never leave or forsake. He will never abandon. He will be an unchanging constant to bolster our souls. If hope and joy, desires and enjoyments, are placed ultimately in Him, then joy is steady and constant. If strength is derived from Him, then the outside world could crumble apart but the rock of your strength would still hold firm.
"The joy of the LORD is your strength." Verses like this demand the question be asked - "is it?" Is the joy of the LORD our strength? Or do we depend upon outward circumstances to keep us happy and satisfied, secure and content? Could we find joy and strength just as readily whether the day were a good one or a "bad" one? As faulty human beings, it can be a battle to keep the source of our strength, the source of our joy, constantly in the LORD. The "good" days are easy, sure, but what about the "bad" ones?
As I learn more about how the LORD works in the lives of His children, I have come to the realization that though we all like the good days, we perhaps need the "bad" ones. So often it is through those that we are reminded where the source of our strength and joy really lies.