I think we are all searching for strength... Strength to get through tough times, maybe you have health problems, or work deadlines, or finals (as in the case of my girls) or just LIFE in general is hard.  I remember as a young mother with three little girls it was tough to find enough strength just to get through the day.

Are you feeling week and in need of some strength?

Do you realize that the JOY of the Lord IS YOUR STRENGTH?

Last week we had one of Victoria's best friends from bible college with us and it was such a blessing to spend time with her.  It's funny how the Lord has such perfect timing... Of all weeks that she could be here, it was just the perfect week and the Lord knew it.  This verse in Nehemiah 8 kept popping up in my mind and I decided to sit with the girls at night and create this page, for them.  

Nehemiah 8:10b "And do not be grieved, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength."

The Lord's JOY is our strength.

But why does is say do not be grieved?  I think maybe the Lord is saying to the Israelites "Hey... remember what I did for you?  I brought you out of captivity, I gave you strength to get through tough times. Even though you sinned and turned from Me, I still love you, I still gave you a way out and brought you back to Me.  Now is the time to REJOICE, to CELEBRATE and to turn your mourning into JOY."

We do the same thing don't we?  We get stuck on our situation, we look at the negatives and focus on what we have done wrong, or what went wrong or what we don't have strength for.

But the Lord is telling us... "Hey, listen to me... don't get down on yourself... MY JOY WILL GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH YOU NEED!!"

So start Praising the Lord... True praise produces TRUE JOY.

Because when we do, when we rejoice in the Lord, when we PRAISE HIM, when we find hope in the Lord and the Lord ALONE... It's what gives us the strength to move forward... WITH JOY!

It is the Lords desire to fill you with His joy and strength.  To take you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, despite what you've done wrong or despite you focusing on the negatives in your life.  It's His JOY that lifts you up, that rescues you and protects you and gives you STRENGTH!

I saw this verse on Pinterest a couple days ago with a beautiful image of a girl and they had changed the words in the scripture from He to She.  I kinda liked that and wanted to write it down in my journaling bible this morning.

Psalm 91:14-16 "Because (she) holds fast to me in love, I will deliver (her); I will protect (her), because (she) knows my name.  When (she) calls to me, I will answer (her); I will be with (her) in trouble; I will rescue (her) and honor (her).  With long life I will satisfy (her) and show (her) my salvation."

There is such GREAT JOY in knowing how much the Lord loves us.  He so desires us to bring everything to Him, to commit our lives to him, to bring our worries, our doubts, our fears to Him so that He can show us He's GOT THIS.  

AND... His strength not only gets us through the tough stuff... but it produces His JOY in us!

So we can look at our circumstances and what's right in front of us, or we can choose to look to the Lord and find His JOY! 

Isn't that AMAZING??

So go have a GREAT day full of JOY!

Hugs to all,