“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 ESV
I don’t often think of a joyful person as a strong person necessarily. Sometimes our world attached stoicism, lack of emotion, hardness of heart, bitterness, aloofness, etc to a strength of some sort. Wow, how I’ve missed it at times. It’s in the joy in God and all that it entails that really makes us strong. I have to keep that in mind daily….that if I’m not feeling the joy, I’m not tapping into a strength!
“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NIV
Wow, what encouragement to watch the intent of my words and actions. I love that God promises to encourage us and we encourage others….that’s how I interpret good words and deeds.
I had noticed that my son had become a little negative….and before the deployment so he can’t use that as an excuse:) But I could almost anticipate negativity from him….anything from food to clothes to gifts received, etc……he always had something negative to say. I addressed it with him and we spoke about the power of words affecting others and if you think good things, you will say good things. He seemed to understand and I’ve seen improvement, but I wondered where he could have learned that behavior since he’s NEVER around negativity………..hmmmm……could it be…oh no. Oh yes, I took a long look at myself and saw some similar behaviors….for shame!:)
Thank God for grace!
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV
I was just talking to my husband over skype about this very subject……I told him that every time I feel like I’ve missed it, I can honestly say that I’m disconnected and off-centered spiritually. The more I’m aligned to God’s will and purpose for my life, the more I enjoy my life…even the craziness and business. Sometimes I feel the my sheer strength and determination will get me through anything…..and although it helps, it’s the spirit of God and my attention to it that leads me the right way to go. I have definitely gone strong…..but in the wrong direction. And wow, what a waste of time and energy that always is. But I pray that God’s spirit is always leading me and guiding me….always.