The joy of the Lord will make you strong. -Nehemiah 8:10b NCV

I have found this to be true in my life. Joy strengthens me in hard times. Reminds me of this Victor Hugo quote:
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
There is something about joy that helps us persevere. Sitting in the presence of joyful friends can lift our burdens.

Some think that joy is different from happiness. I am not one of those people. Some say that joy is internal while happiness is external. In my view a person that is happy only on the outside is not happy. Joy is a heart state that bubbles into happiness. Joy, or the lack of it, affects every part of us. When it is not there we are weak. When there we are strong.

Help us Lord to trust you in hard times that we might experience your joy - an evidence of your Spirit in our lives.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

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