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A Prayer For Joy
By Tiffany Thibault

"For the joy of the Lord is your strength." - Nehemiah 8:10b

God has created us to enjoy our life, to find pleasure in the things that we are interested in. For me, joy is found not only in the big moments of my life - weddings, births, celebrations, but also found in the small moments, such as when I sit on a sandy beach, listening to the crash of the waves, or seeing my baby smile at me each morning when I would get her from her crib. The reality is that those big and small moments are fleeting blips of time in my life. My babies are grown, and I now live far from the beach, but the memory of these situations still brings me joy when I think about them. 

Even though God has created us to crave joy in our lives, our days are mostly filled with things that can steal our joy as we focus on things that have to be done, projects to complete, issues to be addressed, relationships to be worked on and communication to be improved. There doesn't seem to be many moments of pure joy throughout any of that!

When we are faced with those difficult things in life that rob us of our joy, it can be a challenge to see beyond the circumstances. However, it is during these very hard moments that we must learn to lean into the Lord, to remind ourselves of the promises that He gives us in the Bible.

This verse tells us that our strength comes from the joy of the Lord. What is the joy of the Lord? The joy of the Lord is found when we deliberately spend time getting to know who God is, when we learn to rely on the promises of scripture to guide our thoughts and emotions, and when we walk in close fellowship with God throughout the day.

So how can we stay in the joy of the Lord all day long, regardless of our circumstances? Here are a few things that we can be intentional about:

  • We must spend time daily reading the Bible.
  • We must be meditating (remembering) all the things that God is doing in our life.
  • We must continue to pray without ceasing.
  • We must begin to view each situation as believing that God is at work in our hearts and lives. 

As we begin to focus more on the Lord, by starting each day with time in the Bible and in prayer, things in our life will begin to change. Our thoughts, emotions and plans will begin to be viewed through the filter of God being at work in all of the hard situations. Our faith will become stronger as our trust in the Lord grows deeper. 

As the days go by, we will begin to view every challenge and every situation with more trust, with more strength and even with joy in the midst of all that is hard in our lives. We will know that God is with us through every single moment, and we will begin to have real deep joy as we realize how much that God has control of every situation, how very much He is “working all things together for good” (Romans 8:28) because we love and trust Him to be God in our lives. 

So, as you go into your hard things today, pray over each of your circumstances and each person in your lives, and then hand it all over to the Lord. Believe the promise that finding your joy in the Lord will give you all the strength you need to walk through every situation that you face today. 

Nehemiah 8:10, inspirational image

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord,
I can do nothing without You. When my strength falters, I will look to you Lord. You are my strength in every single situation that I am going through. I cling to the promises that you have given me through the words found in the Bible. Lord, I cry out to you through the hardness of my situations. You are my hope, You are my peace. I find my joy in You. Help me to allow the truth of these realities to fill every part of my mind and heart.
In your name I pray, Jesus,
Amen

Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle

Tiffany Thibault is the author of the Bible study “Being Fruitful;” she loves leading Bible Study and speaking to women, encouraging them through truths from the Bible. She lives in the Mojave desert with her family and loves to explore the wilderness areas around her city.

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