In my senior year, one of our English projects was to write a sermonette. These sermons, about 2-3 pages, were spoken in class then collected into a devotional book. As getting ideas for blogging constantly is difficult, I decided to go through this devotional and write a post about some of the ideas that come up in each of them, with some of my input added.
The second sermon in the book is about the Joy of the Lord. Cassie notes that the phrase comes from Nehemiah 8:10:
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
It comes in a time of sorrow, as the Israelites were grieving their rebellion against God and their failure to follow his commands. Cassie emphasizes that this Joy is of the Lord as he is the giver and sustainer of joy. We cannot achieve perfect joy without the help of the Lord.
Cassie goes on to talk about “why would we want this joy?” and answers by showing that it puts our delight in the Lord. We can have joy by knowing that He is the one judging, knowing that He is good, and other things that God does. This joy gives us motivation to do the things we wish we could do, but don’t (like devotionals that we “want” to do but don’t). This joy is achieved by belief and obedience to God. This makes sense since Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
Going off from her devotional, what is Joy? This talks about what Joy does, but what is the Form of Joy? Is it a type of virtue? What is the idea made up of? It is far more than happiness, but I think exploration of this topic requires another post.