The Joy of the Lord will be your strength

Joy.  What the hell is that?  I’ve heard church people for years say, “Well, you can’t always be happy but you can be joyful.”  What the hell does that mean?  I’m not so sure that the church has any understanding of what the joy of the Lord is or the joy of covenental relationship is.  Here is what it means to me.

To live in covenant with God means that He will have to forgive me, tolerate me, be good/kind to me, hope for me, and basically, I Corinthian 13 me.  To live in covenant with my wife means that I will have to forgive her, tolerate her, be good/kind to her, hope for her, and basically, I Corinthians 13 her.  For her to live in covenant with me means that she will have to forgive me, tolerate me, be good/kind to me, hope for me, and basically, I Corinthians 13 me.  If we can do this, we will share a bond, a union, that is unshakeable.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ, and nothing can separate us from each other.  No matter how bad I hurt her, no matter how bad she hurts me, no matter how bad we both hurt God, none of us will break the bond of covenant and bale on the other parties.  When this is experienced and not just the topic of Sunday morning services, it becomes a strength.  It becomes a source of joy because no matter how bad it gets with each other, or with God, we all know that eventually we will work all these things out and the working out of these things will be for God.  All things work together for good for those in covenant with God and each other.

The feast of Trumpets is this weekend.  Rosh Hoshanna for the Jews but biblically the Feast of Trumpets.  Christians don’t even acknowledge it.  Nevertheless, the bible verse so frequently quoted as the title of this article takes place during the Feast of Trumpets.  Its in Nehemiah chapter 8 for all you bible bangers.  The context of chapter 8 is the first day of the seventh month, this is the biblical day of the Feast of Trumpets. (Lev 23)  Read it for yourself and see what happens in that chapter.  Sin, shame, guilt, conviction, and condemnation have no place with people of the covenant.  They happen but they are simply fleeting emotional storms and not the condition of the heart that we live in.  No matter what happens, God and my wife, will always love me and not matter what we go through we will stay together in covenant.  Indeed, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

 

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