Understanding joy & strength

Some scriptures for when you’re waiting on the Lord:

I wait patiently for God to save me; I depend on him alone. Psalm 62:1

I wait expectantly for the Lord’s help, and in his word I trust. Psalm 130:5

Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord. Psalm 27:14

We put our hope in the Lord; he is our protector and our help. Psalm 33:20

Be patient and wait for the Lord to act; don’t be worried about those who prosper or those who succeed in their evil plans. Psalm 37:7

I waited patiently for the Lord’s help; then he listened to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak. Isaiah 40:31

It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:26

Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3

Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23

All the scriptures above teach us the attitude we must have while waiting on an answer from God. We are to wait QUIETLY, HOPEFULLY and EXPECTANTLY.

QUIETLY – this means we are not to worry and complain about for instance why it’s taking so long to get what we asked for.

HOPEFULLY – this attitude helps us to look forward to God’s provision.

EXPECTANTLY – this means that we know God will answer.

The above is really a picture of our faith life! We need to have and exercise faith in order to live a victorious and pleasing life before God. Remember, He says it’s impossible for us to please Him without FAITH (Hebrews 11:6). But it takes strength to put our faith into action; it takes strength to believe for the impossible. It takes strength to draw from God’s well of living water. Think on the muscles you need to pull up a full bucket of water from a well! From where do we get this strength? Surely it’s not human strength that helps our faith, is it? No, it’s not our strength but that of the Holy Spirit. Consider these scriptures:

Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong. Nehemiah 8:10

Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for Yahweh, is my strength and song; and he has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2, 3

I will still be joyful and glad, because the Lord God is my savior. The Sovereign Lord gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer and keeps me safe on the mountains. Habakkuk 3:18, 19

But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. Galatians 5:22, 23

I’ve often wondered and pondered the scripture that says “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. What did it mean for me and just how could I make it work in my life?

Notice the clear connection between joy and strength! It’s the Holy Spirit who produces joy in us. This joy is what becomes our strength! Isn’t this amazing? Despite difficult situations, we have the guarantee that the Holy Spirit’s joy WILL give us the strength we need to get through and come out victorious. The strength to hold on to our faith; the strength to keep on hoping and expecting; the strength to draw near to God and to draw from His well of supply; and the strength to stand during the battles.

Is it any wonder that the enemy’s strategy is to steal our JOY? He knows the power of joy, that there is strength in it for us to defeat him. If he can steal our joy then he will steal our strength to fight, to draw near to God, and to stand in faith–the currency of God’s kingdom, the key to the christian’s life!

It’s encouraging to know that God Himself, by His Holy Spirit in us, has provided us with all the spiritual resources we need to live victoriously. Consider doing a personal study on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and the spiritual arsenal described in Ephesians 6:10-17.

The word of God truly is a lamp for our feet and light on the path before us! This means not only do we have light that shows where we’re currently standing (the present) but also that our future path is also illuminated! Maranatha.