Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!
 

And this Wednesday morning has opened completely different to the past two days! We’re bathed in bright sunshine and enveloped in cool, gentle breezes, unlike Monday and Tuesday that began with rain and continued all day with a rotation of sunshine and heavenly blessings. But let’s not talk too quickly, because with all the stormy weather in the area, Wednesday could end being just the same, except for the start and finish. And having philosophized on the weather, which we have absolutely no control over, let’s turn now to something that we have some control over, that godly thing we call JOY! 

And that’s the simple but overwhelming title of today’s poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Joy! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope all of that just brought your own joy bubbling up from the depths of your souls to the surface, like it did mine! For there’s nothing in this world sweeter and more refreshing than JOY! It’s like the difference between honey and sugar. Happiness is like sugar; sweet but uncertain and fleeting and dependent on circumstances. Meanwhile, joy is like honey; thick and rich, steadfast and long lasting, because it comes solely from God! 

Yeah! If you don’t have the Spirit of God, the One True and Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dwelling in you, then it’s impossible for you to have joy! You might have happiness, but certainly not that long-lasting, steadfast emotion we call joy! That’s why the Bible Promise for today’s poem, which is also our Bit, solemnly declares (ah Lord eh!) ‘Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama oh Mama! What an awesome truth! That’s why the enemy’s biggest and strongest efforts are all geared towards stealing our joy, making us dejected and sad, fearful and without faith, for he knows that once he steals our joy, he has us like jelly, in the palms of his hands. We’re unable to function the way we ought to without the Lord’s joy, our very strength. And by the way, that translation comes from the New Living Translation. I usually stick to my King James Version, but this one just sounded more in tune with the times and our disastrous situation right now. (smile) 

And I’m chuckling here with joy and mirth because I just turned to the Good Book to find the scripture, and lo and behold it was already opened at Nehemiah, though not at the exact spot! I usually just open it and see if it opens at anything that seems like it’s good and useful for the day, but today I just opened it and didn’t look at where it opened at, but the Good Lord in His mysterious and fascinating ways was, as usual, way ahead of me. How can I not LOVE and cherish him when He looks after me so well eh? (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing the Lord, and having a personal relationship with Him is the best thing you can do in this life! Note, it’s not easy living and working for Him, because He often makes big and scary demands, but He ALWAYS gives us the grace and power to fulfill them. And though we ofttimes have to step out in faith to do His will, His work is always interesting, adventurous and totally fulfilling. 

Believe me, I’m talking from experience here. If you want to experience the most interesting, adventurous and fulfilling life this world has to offer, then you need to consider seriously working for Jehovah God! He will lead you into some times and places that will have you shaking your head in awe and wonder, even as you’re going through some rough times. That’s the beauty of working for Him: you know that you’re in good hands even though the situations might seem to dictate otherwise. 

But friends, you’ll never know or experience much of His largesse and awesome adventures until you make a conscious decision to step up and out and do whatever He’s called you to do. And yes, many times that stepping out will mean taking a big chance, with many voices crying out a loud warning of “NO!” But please note, in the Lord’s economy, there’s no such thing as chance. All His moves are well planned and orchestrated and He never leaves you in the lurch, always gives you the grace and power to do whatever He calls you to do. 

That I can personally testify to! How do you think I’ve been writing this Bit for some thirteen years now eh, possibly only missing two days in all that time? Because of the Lord’s faithfulness and LOVING-kindness! And if you compare where and how I started out with where I am now, it’s like night and day! That’s because the Lord worked with me, once I decided to stop laughing and heed His call to write the Bit. Yes, for those of you who don’t know the story, I did laugh when He first approached me with the idea. Just like Sara did when He promised her a child in her old age. 

But here’s another thing. Whenever the Lord comes a calling, it’s always in your best interest to agree on the first approach, for He’ll make your life miserable and intolerable until you do agree. Yeh, that happened to me. My life just wasn’t running right; not terrible, but not right either. Then I realized why. Hn! Hn! The Lord doesn’t give up on you, when He’s serious. So, finally I agreed. In the beginning I couldn’t write much, because I didn’t know much. My exact excuse for turning down the job. Now, however, I’m writing too much! (smile) 

And again I’m chuckling as I realize the testimonial direction He’s led me in today. And that’s where the joy and strength comes from; that knowing that regardless of what happens on the outside, on the inside there’s a surety that all will be well, because our great and faithful God has promised to work ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His awesome bidding. Now it’s time us to go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

That’s another faithful promise you can’t beat friends. It just requires that we endure steadfastly to the end! Much LOVE!

…working for God is not easy…but it sure has wonderful and everlasting benefits… 

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