- Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
- Psalm 22:19 NIV
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
- Psalm 27:1 NKJV
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
- Psalm 28:7-8 NIV
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
- Psalm 29:11 CSB
The Lord gives his people strength;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
- Psalm 37:39 NKJV
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
- Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
- Psalm 118:14 NIV
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
- Psalm 119:28 NIV
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
- Psalm 138:3 NKJV
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
- Proverbs 18:10 NASB
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
- Isaiah 12:2 NIV
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
- Isaiah 33:2 NIV
Lord, be gracious to us;
we long for you
.Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.
- Isaiah 40:29 NIV
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
- Isaiah 40:31 NIV
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 41:10 NASB
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
- Mark 12:30 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- Ephesians 3:16 NIV
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
- Ephesians 6:10 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
- Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
“Mom, can we have a milkshake because it’s Tuesday?”
We do celebrations in our family. We celebrate first days and last days, pick-me-up treats on the hardest days, victory treats when we have a big win and even sometimes just for trying.because we know trying requires courage.
My daughter has a competition this weekend, but I’ve already let her request her “celebration dinner,” whether she comes home with first place or last place. We’re not saluting the prize, we’re saluting the effort, the time, the commitment, and being done, of course.
Our celebrations aren’t elaborate or Pinterest-worthy. We make a special batch of cookies or stop in at 7-11 for a Slurpie, cook up a special dinner or maybe even get milkshakes for a “big” treat. We “party” with family movie night and a bowl of popcorn or head to a beach or a playground for some afternoon fun after a week of testing at school. I’ve even been known to happy dance in the kitchen occasionally, (which is instantly embarrassing to my children).
But that day, my daughter climbed in the minivan after school and asked for a treat because it was Tuesday.
I finally gave in and asked, “Why are we celebrating Tuesday?”
“Oh, it’s just that Tuesdays are really busy days for us and I think we just need a treat because it’s Tuesday and that’s all.”
Well, maybe we’re stretching our rejoicing habits a bit too far if we’re now celebrating specific days of the week just because they exist on the calendar.
I tease my daughter gently and call her the “queen of treats.”
Can we celebrate because we had a good day? Can we have a treat because we had a bad day? Can we have a treat because…it’s Tuesday?
We all have a good laugh because this is who we are: We’re celebrators and rejoicers. We’re joy-seekers.
I love that God gives reason to rejoice. Not just that, He compels us to rejoice.
In Romans, Paul tells us that we have peace with God because of Jesus. We’re justified by His blood and saved from the wrath of God. He reminds us we were God’s enemies and yet, because of Jesus’s death, we’re now reconciled with this perfect, holy God.
But Paul tells us what is the greater thing. We recognize His holiness and our need for reconciliation. We recognize we were enemies of God and yet now we have peace with God. We recognize all of that….
“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:11 ESV).
We rejoice because Jesus has done the work. We believe in Him as our Savior, we place our faith in Him as our Lord, and He has reconciled us to the Father.
So, we don’t need to drag around shame; we can lift up praise. We focus more on our Savior than we focus on our sin.
We are saved.
The note in my Bible says, “Christians GO BEYOND avoiding God’s wrath and actually rejoice in the same God who would pour out wrath on them were it not for Christ” (ESV Study Bible).
So, let’s go beyond.
Our faith is about more than just avoiding the wrath of God; it’s celebrating the good news: Jesus made us righteous by covering us with His righteousness.
And, God Himself rejoices. Maybe recapturing the image of God and all of His joy reminds us to have joy, too.
He rejoices over His people:
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people.
The sound of weeping and crying
will no longer be heard in her (Isaiah 65:19)
and He sings over us with gladness:
The Lord your God is among you,
a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will be quiet in his love.
He will delight in you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 CSB).
We are unworthy, and yet He loves us. He finds joy and takes delight in us.
And it is His joy, His deep-hearted gladness, that we can cling to when we’re overwhelmed by our own sin.
In the book of Nehemiah, the people were moved to mourn when they heard Ezra the priest read from the law. They saw all of their unworthiness and all the reasons for their exile.
Nehemiah and the other leaders redirected them:
This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep…today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:9, 10).
Rejoice today. Celebrate. Praise Him.
He loves you. He died to save you. Her rejoices over you. Such love deserves a celebration.