Friday, August 14, 2015
The theme running through all of the readings today is joy. In Nehemiah, we read that the joy of the LORD is our strength. Paul reflects the same idea when he says, "What is my pay? The opportunity to preach the Good News." His strength is in the joy of doing God's will. And then the Psalms say "What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD... We put our hope in the LORD... He is our help and our shield... in Him our hearts rejoice."
There is, as I'm sure you're aware, much to worry about today. Two days ago, an explosion killed dozens of people in China, and no one seems to know why. Another explosion just rocked Conroe, Texas today. People are dying of Ebola and malaria and AIDS every day. And that's not even mentioning the US presidential race, which seems to bring the worst out of everyone.
But take heart. The joy of God is our strength. He has given us SO MUCH to be joyful about. Nehemiah today says "You made the seas and everything in them... You preserve them all."
He preserves them all. He hears our cries when we're sad or hurting. He reaches out and loves us. He takes care of His creation.
In spite of all of the real things going on in the world to make us upset, there is far more for us to be joyful about. Our current worries and pain are NOTHING compared to the joy that awaits us when we see Him face to face.
And in the meantime, He comforts us. Seek His face. And His joy will be your strength.
Thank You, God, for giving us Your joy for our strength.