Joy of the Lord


"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." - Nehemiah 8:10

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." - Psalm 103:12

Anna (not her real name) grew up in a God-fearing but judgmental household. Any infraction was not only punished but brought up again and again. “How could you be so stupid? I thought you’d learned your lesson when you had that same problem at your grandmother’s house last year!” her father would shout.

Anna lived with immense guilt. As a middle-aged woman, she obsessed over her sins from her early adult life. She continued to live for Jesus, even to the point of bringing her husband to Christ, and then their three sons. But though she was outwardly an exemplary Christian woman, Anna constantly condemned herself.

Then Anna found a loving congregation of God’s people who focused on grace and acceptance rather than past sins. Anna marveled at the joy she saw, even in people whose lives were far less than perfect. Finally, Anna asked for the prayers of these godly people and they embraced her in spite of her shortcomings.

Today Anna joyfully believes the words in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Heavenly Father, You know my every sin. Thank You for Your abundant forgiveness and for Your Divine forgetfulness. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.
Aug 12 2017