His Love is Strong

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

I’ve always thought that meant that being joyful would give us strength.  If we have joy like God does (the joy of the Lord), then we’ll be strong.  So, crank up the joy and be strong!  I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t work for me.

When I heard that verse the other day, Hebrews 12:2 also came to mind:

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross.”

All of a sudden, for the first time, those two verses collided with each other in my mind.

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross.”

We are the reason Jesus endured the cross.

His love for us drove him to the cross.

That means that the joy of the Lord is God’s love for us.

And what does that do to “The joy of the Lord is your strength”?

Ah, yes.  God’s love for us is our strength!  Oh, that makes so much more sense.  Not that I have to crank out some artificial joy, hoping that I will feel strong.  But that his love is strong.  His love for us is our strength.

Switchfoot wrote a song called “Your Love is Strong” and I happened upon this sweet rendition of it from after a concert they played in Kingston, Ontario back in 2011.  As you listen, I hope you’ll imagine God’s love giving you the strength you need for whatever you face today.

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