The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) And during those dark times in our lives when our spirit is broken, it’s that joy we need to hold tightly to. For it’s the blessedness and gratitude of joy that can change our attitude and view of things. The situation we’re in may not change…but the joy of the Lord will strengthen us to press on.
When life’s going along smoothly…we tend to ignore God. We smugly think it’s us that’s making it all happen. So when disease, death or tragedy hits – we’re thrown for a loop. ” How can this possibly be happening to me…what am I going to do…how can I fix this?” It’s at that point of distress, we finally cry out to the Lord. But how do we know God’s listening to us…how do we know we have His attention? We can start by reading His Word. The Bible is full of times when God miraculously answered His people’s cries for help. And each time He answered, their faith was built up a little more. The Psalmist showed this confidence when he wrote, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:6-7) It’s that assurance from past answered prayers that enable us to have confidence every time we cry out to God anew.
This verse starts out with the words, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord”. The Hebrew word for “tell” here has two definitions – the first being to remember or reflect upon, the second being to declare or proclaim. When we stop and reflect upon just how much the Lord has done for us…how many good things He has provided…how merciful and kind He has been towards us – how can we not want to share with others this love? Ephesians 2:4 tells us, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” It is only by that unwarranted, unmerited love of God you are the person you are today through Him.
There’s been many times in my life when I’ve bared my soul to the Lord and complained loudly! I’ve spilled out my frustrations as well as my tears before Him…knowing He would be the only one that could fully understand my distress. And God does. There is nothing you’re going through today that has caught God by surprise…nothing He doesn’t already know about. The old Hymn, “What a Friend we have in Jesus” is so true…for when there’s no one else you feel you can confide in…Jesus is always there.