This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. ~ Nehemiah 8:10b
The Jews under the leadership of Nehemiah had finally completed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and had settled in their towns. Then on the first day of the seventh month, they assembled in the square as they listened to Ezra read the words from the Book of the Law of Moses.
After Ezra's reading of God's words, Nehemiah said "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
It is was a time of celebration for the Jews not only because they had completed the walls of Jerusalem, but also because now they have heard again the words from the Book of the Law. I think God was really pleased as well with this that's why Nehemiah quoted the above-mentioned verse. His joy was their strength.
It is true that when we bring pleasure to God as we do when we obey His will, it should also bring us strength. In fact, the thought of giving joy to God should motivate us in doing what is good and pleasing to Him.
For me, when I know that God is happy about something, my strength is renewed. This is true like when after coming from the church, when helping someone, or when spending a quiet time with Him. God's joy is a source of renewed strength for whatever we are going to do and in whatever we are going through. We may be in times of difficulties, but knowing that if we overcome, God is pleased, then we can find strength to keep going until we are victorious.
How about you? How do you feel when you know that you did something good and pleasing to God? Do you find strength in times of difficulties knowing that God is there cheering you on and waiting with a smile on His face when you are victorious?
Lord, I know that we have lots of struggles in the here and now. But I am comforted to think that someday, if I continue to be faithful, I will be able to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord."