From: David Kabanje
Date: October 28, 2021
Subject: GMU: The Joy of the Lord

The Joy of the Lord

“Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Truthfully, I have struggled with this verse for a while. How is God’s joy translated to my personal joy? Further speculation into the context of Nehemiah 8 paints a picture of people face to face with their iniquity and failure to uphold God’s law. It is a painful realization when you see how far you are from God. The two dominating emotions we feel from our distance from God are guilt, a realization of our sins, and shame that we are not living up to God’s standard. After hearing and understanding God’s Law, the Israelites wept! But, beautiful people, wherever you find yourself today on this spectrum, there is hope—the joy of the Lord! So, what is the joy of the Lord? Well, God’s joy is made complete when He has you. God’s joy is made whole when we respond to His grace through repentance and restoration. In other words, you bring joy to God when you accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and walk a life of faith and righteousness. God’s joy in repentance and restoration becomes my strength to run to Him when shame and guilt come knocking.  

Today, we have an opportunity to experience God’s joy—the joy of restoration. Today, we have a chance to experience a strength that is rooted in unconditional divine love. 


Abba-Father, may our hearts and minds be aligned with You today! May Your peace rest heavily in our hearts, and may we have the courage to face today with empathy and zeal. Give us the strength to bring Your joy to others today! Amen!

P.S. I would love to hear from you on your interpretation of Nehemiah 8:10. What does the joy of the Lord look like for you? Let's keep this conversation going! 

Have a great day!