Then he said to them, “Go, eat the festival foods, drink the sweet drinks, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your refuge. – Nehemiah 8:10
God’s joy is our refuge.
God’s joy is our strength.
God’s joy sustains.
God’s joy restores our purpose.
Nehemiah was speaking to people after Ezra, a priest had read the law and the people were grieving. He reminded the people that God’s joy is a place of refuge, and reason to rejoice. This was just before the Festival of Booths was restored following a Jewish exile. Jerusalem had been destroyed, and many of the Jewish commandments and laws were not followed. Nehemiah had requested and received permission to travel back to Judah to rebuild it, and proclaimed that joy to the people who were dismayed.
We aren’t called to find, create, or seek refuge in our own joys. We are called to dwell in the joy of the Lord, and that’s where we find true and complete goodness.
Our own joys apart from God lead to and become sin, thus creating a disruption in our relationship with our Creator. Seeking God’s joy leads us to our true purpose to love and worship Him!