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Strength from Rejoicing

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do no grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the LORD.

When Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem finished rebuilding the walls of the decimated city, they dedicated it to the LORD in a ceremony, where Ezra read from the book of the law to the people. As Ezra read, the people began to weep and mourn because they were convicted of sin as they saw how God had graciously restored their city in spite of their sin. Their tears were both tears of sorrow and tears of joy as they experienced a touch of God’s grace.

Ezra instructed them to go and eat as if they were celebrating because this was truly a time of celebration for Jerusalem. They were to eat what was rich, drink what was sweet, and give to those who didn’t have anything prepared so all could participate because this was a holy day in God’s sight. This day was not a time to grieve but a time to praise Him and rejoice in His goodness toward them. In rejoicing, they would find strength.

When we realize sin, mistakes, or failures in our life, the worst thing we can do is to sit and grieve over it. This type of grief accomplishes nothing but to make us feel even worse about something that we can no longer change. To truly overcome such failure is to rejoice in the fact that God has covered it with grace and continue. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, and we cannot pay Him back. We turn from that sin toward Him and rejoice in the fact that His sacrifice is complete. In that celebration of grace, we find strength to continue in what God has called us to do. While we should always learn from our mistakes and turn from sin, wallowing in depression, regret, or self-pity will accomplish nothing.

If you have failed in some area, simply take it to Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and turn from that sin. Rejoice in knowing that His blood covers your past, present, and even future sins, and God still has a great plan for your life. Thank Him for His mercy and His favor toward you, and begin to walk in the way He has called you. God knew your weaknesses and your failures before He called you, yet He called you anyway. Learn from your mistakes and let go of any hindering thing that causes you to fail. The joy of the LORD is your strength, and you gain nothing by grieving over past mistakes. Walk forth in joy today, and experience God’s strength for your weakness.

Have a blessed day!

PHOEBE Connections, Inc. is a 501(c)3 dedicated to enhancing the lives of widows by building relationships and helping them find new identity in Jesus Christ through serving others. We promote an atmosphere of fellowship, where the widow can connect with other widows to develop friendships and supportive relationships.