Written by: Marcio Sierra Jr.
If you’re like me, there are times when you feel without any strength, discouraged, tired and without the desire to go on. It seems as if every day is a “Monday.” You don’t feel like getting out of bed, you don’t feel like going to work, you don’t have the strength to go to school, etc. For some people, these feelings are not just a few days thing, but rather, it has become a life style and it is ruining many lives. I know people that live their lives exhausted because of their jobs, the stress, and the problems that they have to deal with on a regular basis. There are couples that no longer have the strength to go on and they decide to throw in the towel and end their marriages. There are some that no longer have the strength to keep on loving and they stop doing so. Others no longer have the strength to live their lives like Jesus did; they get discouraged, and put God aside. Many are living their lives tired and they do not know how to get out of that situation.
I would like to share with you a biblical “formula” that on many occasions has helped me come out of a place of weakness where I don’t have any strength and has taken me into a place where God’s strength picks me up and makes me live victoriously.
The last part of Nehemiah 8:10 say, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” What this verse is saying to us is that God’s joy gives us strength. Strength to keep on fighting for our homes. Strength to not give up. Strength to get up and go on forward. Strength to continue running the spiritual race that we have before us. Strength to fight the good battle of faith. Strength! The key that we find in this verse is “joy.” It is the joy of the Lord that will give us strength. But how do we find that joy when we don’t have any strength and that lack of strength is keeping us discouraged and even in a state of depression? I am glad that you asked that question; let me give you the second part of this “formula.”
God tells us that His joy will give us strength. That means that we need to find that joy. The problem is that it is very difficult to find joy when in our lives there is not a lot to be joyful about. This is where many stumble; they are looking for joy in the wrong place. True joy will not be found in our marriage, or in our job, or in our family, or in having success, etc. True joy, a joy that does not depend of circumstances, can be found only in God. As a matter of fact, God tells us in Psalm 16:11 that “In Your presence (God’s presence) is fullness of joy.”
So, if we want strength, we need joy, and in order to find that joy, we need to go to the presence of God since it is there where there is fullness of joy. This takes us to the third and last part of this “formula.” How do we enter into the presence of God?
The Bible tells us in Psalm 100:4 that we should “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” What this means is that if we want to enter into the presence of God, enter His gates and courts, we do so by giving thanks and praising Him. An attitude of thanksgiving and praise will usher us into the presence of God. There are so many things that we can be thankful for and give praise. Try doing so and you will see how you will find yourself in His presence.
Let us review the formula:
Thanksgiving and praise will take us into the presence of God. In the presence of God we will find fullness of joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. In other words, when you are feeling weak, tired, without any strength, discouraged, and wanting to give up, start to give thanks to God and to praise Him. This attitude will take you into His presence. His presence will always fill you with joy. And that joy will always give you the strength that you need to live a victorious life that pleases God. Try it and see for yourself!