“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8:10

There is a difference between joy and happiness. Sometimes I feel happy, sometimes sad but we can always be joyful. That sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it? Paul told to the Philippians to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4). How can you be joyful all the time? Can joy still be present in sadness, difficulty or loss? 

Happiness is the good feeling you get when something good happens – joy on the other hand is the deep-seated confidence that finds its root in God’s love and care. Because He loves me, because I am completely confident that He will never leave or forsake me, because His presence and provision for me is not dependent on how I feel or what is happening around me, I can be joyful. 

The joy of the Lord is a deep assurance that God is in control and He has my best interests at heart – this is what gives me strength to face things when they seem insurmountable. The joy of the Lord does not happen to me one day and leave the next – He is always with me.

Today take strength in the knowledge that you belong to God, He is your refuge, your help and nothing can take that away from you. Rejoice in the Lord!