“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10
You can’t be strong spiritually without joy. It’s as simple as that. Look at that verse in Nehemiah closely: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” God himself connects these two things together: joy and strength.
Because when we have joy, it’s a sign that we’re trusting God. When we don’t have joy, it’s a sign that we’re not trusting God. And when we stop trusting God, joy exits our lives immediately.
Joy is actually one of the reasons we bring in comedians to our THRIVE Conferences every year. Some people ask why we do that at a Christian conference, why we set out to have fun like that. And the answer is because God’s people need to laugh.
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalm 118:24
Something’s missing if people aren’t enjoying God in life, if they aren’t rejoicing. There ought to be gladness, and there needs to be laughter. Did you know that adults laugh only 10% as much as kids? Somewhere between childhood and adulthood people start to lose their laughter; they start to lose their joy. Some of us in ministry especially tend to get so serious about our mission and plans, or so weighed down by all that’s on our plate, that we haven’t laughed in years.
Maybe that’s you, and you haven’t even realized it.
Take a minute to remember that laughter is not only therapeutic; it give us joy. And joy builds our spiritual strength.
So go laugh today. Tickle your kids. Tell funny stories with them or your spouse. Get together with friends and reminisce about fun times. Take time to let the joy grow in your heart today, and feel God’s strength lift you up.
Come back next week for more about joy, where I’ll be talking about why joy is important in developing healthy relationships!