Nehemiah Week 5

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Joy versus Happiness.  Does one really know the difference between the two?  I’ve been told that as a Christian, what I really desire is joy.

So I check the definitions over at Merriam-Webster:

  • Joy: “a state of happiness or felicity”
  • Happiness: “enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment”

That doesn’t really help me much!

This week, Kelly talks about true joy being when God speaks to us.  Here are two examples she gives:

  • In Nehemiah chapter 8, after the wall is rebuilt, “all who were able to understand” listened to Ezra read the Law of Moses from daybreak until noon.  Although the people were weeping because they realized how far short they were to these laws, Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites encouraged them otherwise.  And…

Nehemiah 8:12  “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”

  • In Luke Chapter 24, after Jesus rose from the dead, he was speaking to His disciples.

Luke 24:45, 52  “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures…then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusaleum with great joy.”

And this…I like!  When I hear God speak whether through the word or in my soul, the feeling within is like none other.  And I can easily describe it as joy.  God speaking.  God showing up.  Joy.

Do you experience God speaking?  And showing up?  Let me encourage you that I was 26 before I truly realized God’s presence in my life (God speaking to me, God showing up).  So don’t be discouraged… If you feel like He is silent.  I felt the same way, and still do at times.  What radically changed for me was that I stopped relying on myself and realized that what I was going through was so much bigger than me.  And I began to turn to Him.  And He started showing up in Scripture, in the words of friends and family around me and in other ways…and I realized He was here the entire time.  I encourage you to keep track of when God speaks to you.  I too easily forget.  And when I am in the wilderness, it’s nice to go back and see His faithfulness.

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