It’s basically December, so I’ve recently started to listen to Christmas music again. I’ve also started watching Christmas films and actually decorated my Uni flat. While doing all of this, I began to realise something that has changed my life.
The past 6 months have been really hard for many reasons, I’ve found myself in the darkest bits of my life and really struggling with loss of confidence, anxiety and sleeplessness. It was hard. Yet all of that time I had a verse and lyric stuck in my head and I could not figure out why. ‘The joy of the Lord is my strength’ Nehemiah 8:10. It was repeating in my mind, day after day, month after month. When I moved to Uni, my Dad drew me a scribe for my wall and the centre of it said, ‘The Joy of the Lord is my Strength’, and so I saw it day after day, month after month. I never understood that verse and I didn’t know why it was stuck in my head. So, then I decided one lunch time to listen to Rend Collective’s Christmas album and ‘Joy to the World’ came on. Something clicked.
Joy is not an emotion, joy is not the same as happiness or the same as laughter or having fun, joy is a state of mind or way of life. When the Bible says, ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength’, this is a liberation, a freedom and a promise on which we can live! It is steadfast. The joy that God provides is enough to give us strength to get up and go, to carry on when we can’t. It is the strength to love yourself when you can no longer see your worth, the strength to get up every morning when you don’t see the point, the strength to be confident in God because his love and his joy carries you in the darkness of the night and in the light of day. The joy God promises to give you is life-changing, it is freedom from being alone and weak because you can live in God’s joy and strength. Although, let’s be clear, this is not a promise to never be sad, or never be tired or never have those days, it however, is a promise that joy is readily available through God all of the time. It is not a subjective emotion but an objective state of mind and a way that we can live our lives.
This promise, along with changing my darkness into light, actually showed me that when we sing songs at Christmas like ‘Joy to the World’, this is so significant! In Jesus we have a joy that is not affected by anyone or anything. Christmas is a time for celebration for many reasons, but this Christmas I hope and pray that it becomes obvious and significant in your life that because Jesus was born, we have Joy, eternal, objective, truthful and amazing joy that we can live in always!
May the joy of the Lord always be your strength,
There is much more I would love to say – it’s hard to express the significance that this realisation has had on me in writing. I hope this helps someone, I would love to hear from anyone so please message me on Instagram: libbyjaxon or reply below.