We sit and look at what’s going on around us. Coronavirus (still), deeply divided politics, lawlessness and disrespect for civil authority, and the disturbing spiritual casualties of some believers brought on by not being in church for so long. And the list could go on, not even counting the normal trials and ups and downs of life. So what comes to mind? Frustration? Helplessness? Anger? A turn to apathy? Thoughts of quitting? I must admit, there’s plenty to get you down, isn’t there? Maybe you feel as if the strength to go on is being sucked right out of you. But then, there’s God! And God’s word. And the verse the Lord brought to my mind yesterday afternoon. A remarkably simple statement from Nehemiah to God’s people: “for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Yes, remarkably simple, yet remarkably powerful. No matter what’s going on around me, if I keep my eyes and my heart on the One above me, the joy in seeing Him energizes me. The focus on Him refreshes me. The trust in Him sustains me. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” To paraphrase the words of Charles Spurgeon, God is so good we cannot help but rejoice in Him no matter how much we may see to weep over in ourselves or in our circumstances. Nehemiah was absolutely right; the joy of the Lord is our strength!