The Joy of the Lord is My Strength
--By Ben Gilmore
The time for grieving over the November 6th body blow is past! The politicized tragedies all around us are being used as diversions. Corruption, scandal, and evermore blatant evil have cast a pall across America as we enter what is traditionally the happiest, most joyful time of the year.
Pause and consider –
What would “evil” want us focused upon?
What is the last thing “evil” wants upon our thoughts?
It is time for an “attitude check”! I am rebuking “gloom” for the rest of December.
Jesus is the reason for the season!
I will smile and say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS” to everyone I meet – telemarketers, shop clerks, total strangers on the sidewalk. I will seek to stay focused upon the celebration of our Lord’s birthday. That involves loving fellowship, hospitality, giving, — even eating!
Here is my paraphrase of the Bible story in the 8th chapter of Nehemiah. –
The leading civic and church leaders gathered with all the townsfolk and Ezra the priest opened the Bible and read it to everyone. (This was in July – but it is my paraphrase, so I’ll pretend it was in December!)
Ezra stood on a platform and read. He blessed all the people. They raised their hands, bowed their heads and worshipped the God of the Bible. The gifted teachers helped the people understand the scriptures.
Nehemiah, the “Tirshatha” (i.e. Shaw), and the other leaders said, “This day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourn not, nor weep.” (All the people wept when they heard the law.)
The Shaw told them, “Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared – for this day is holy unto the Lord: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The birth of the Savior of the world is certainly more significant and joyful than all the bad stuff His enemies can muster. They know in their hearts – as do we!!! –
God wins the war.Ben Gilmore