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The joy of the Lord is our strength

During this season of uncertainty caused by this pandemic of COVID-19, I have had numerous conversations with many people centering around why God has allowed this invisible enemy to invade the land and cause such catastrophic conditions.

Many people associate these conditions with Biblical prophecy and suggest that the cause is sins of the people and apostasy, which is a falling away from the faith. Obviously, such assertions are of no concrete basis and speculative at best.

However, the reality of these current conditions of uncertainty do have people living in fear, anxiety and in some instances, in seclusion.

The news of continued rise in the death rate from this coronavirus, and no cure or remedy on the horizon, reaps havoc in the minds of many people. Thus, facing life’s journey with tenacity and joy of contentment is greatly diminished.

So, that begs the question, where can joy and contentment be found in such a time as this?

An example can be drawn from our scripture reference from the book of Nehemiah, whereby the people were suffering through severe circumstances stemming from the exile which impacted their living and their future. The central question was, how were they to relate to God in such a time of uncertainty whereby they felt that God was speaking to them regarding the sins of the land.

However, in their searching for answers and assurance of God’s love for them, it was through the repeated reading of the Word of God that assurance was realized that God truly loved them, and they were still his chosen people. Nehemiah declared to them, “The joy of the Lord would be their strength.”

Correspondingly, during this challenging time in which we find ourselves of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and wondering about the new normal, consider shifting the focus to the reading of the word of almighty God and discovering or being reassured that God is the source of all joy and our strength for daily living.

Think about it. Our favorite restaurant has been closed, favorite food items are nowhere to be found, beauty salons and barbershops sporting “closed” signs and stay at home restrictions in place. Thus, drawing closer to the one who is keeping you throughout these circumstances will reap great benefits, and that is Almighty God.

There is joy in knowing this but more joy in drawing closer through reading his word and reflecting on his goodness. Truly, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

REV. DR. JAMES TAYLOR III is pastor of Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is jht3@verizon.net.