Last week I explored the scriptural directions in finding rest. But what if God is asking you to push ahead amidst difficult circumstances? Sure we can find rest in any and all circumstances, but sometimes we also need strength. Sometimes God will not allow us to completely lay down something we are walking in. Perhaps the work He is doing in us through the road we are walking on is not complete. Maybe the work He is doing through us for others is not complete. But we are worn out. What is the Biblical example to finding strength in these situations?
Over and over in the Bible, there are references to finding strength in the Lord. Obviously this is correct. The Lord ultimately is the source of our strength, but there are some indications of a specific gift from the Lord which is meant to strengthen us:
Strength Through Joy
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” –ESV
As soon as we read this it resonates right? Most of us can probably remember a time when we felt hopeless and grieved by circumstances, only to be overshadowed by a joy that cannot be explained naturally. It is the joy of the Lord, through the Holy Spirit. He is greater by far than all the cares of this life that seek to pummel us down. And when that joy comes, we find we have strength to continue, when before we felt we could not take another step.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. –ESV
If you have not experienced the life-giving benefits of joy, seek this gift. It can keep your bones from drying up. It keeps you from withering. It’s medicine. You will be strengthened.
But how is it done? How do we receive this joy? The truth is, there is no prescription. The best we can do is to become intimate with the Spirit of God and rely upon Him for every need. In Luke 10:21 it mentions that Jesus was filled with joy through the Holy Spirit. Or that He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, depending on the translation. Joy is mentioned as one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Joy Comes From The Spirit
The point is, joy comes from the Holy Spirit and He can and will strengthen us with this gift. Not always right when we want or ask for it. Sometimes it’s at a moment when we least expect it or have even forgotten to ask for it. That is why it is so important to always be in a position in our hearts to receive the things of God. Whatever they may be at any given time. If we open ourselves up like that, and welcome the Holy Spirit and His sovereignty in our lives, we are sure to find joy and strength abounding.