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One of the meanings of "joy" in Nehemiah 8:10, "...for the joy of the LORD is your strength and stronghold," is "be joined."  You can see that in order for the joy of the Lord to be your strength, you must be joined with God.  Being joined with God causes joy in your life!
But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from [which was entrusted to me by] the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news (Gospel) of God's grace (His unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy).
Acts 20:24
According to Strong's concordance, the root of the Greek word translated "joy" in this verse means "cheerfulness" (i.e. calm delight).  Meanings of one Hebrew word for "joy" are "to rejoice," "make glad" or "be joined."  Another Hebrew word translated "joy" can mean "to spin around."

One of the meanings of "joy" in Nehemiah 8:10, "...for the joy of the LORD is your strength and stronghold," is "be joined."  You can see that in order for the joy of the Lord to be your strength, you must be joined with God.  Being joined with God causes joy in your life!

We can show forth the joy of the Lord in a way another of the meanings indicates by spinning around, in other words, with physical exuberance. But that doesn't mean we need to go around jumping up and down and twirling around in circles 24 hours a day!

Sometimes when people hear a message they recognize as truth, they want so much to apply it, they move into works—they try to make it happen in their own strength without allowing God to bring it to pass in their life as a result of prayer and God's power and timing. 

Prime The Pump
When we don't feel joyful, we need to take some action to release joy before we start slipping into depression.  Sometimes we must start in the flesh to rejoice whether we feel like it or not. 

It is like priming a pump by repeatedly moving the handle up and down until the pump kicks in and the water begins to flow.

I remember my grandparents had an old-time pump.  Where they lived, folks didn't have running water in the kitchen.  I can recall standing at the sink as a small child moving the pump handle up and down and sometimes feeling as though it would never take hold and start to supply water. 

It actually felt as if it was connected to nothing, and I was just pumping air.

But if I didn't give up, moving the handle up and down would soon become more difficult.  That was a sign that water would start flowing shortly.

This is the way it is with joy.  We have a well of water on the inside of our spirit.  The pump handle to bring it up is physical exuberance—smiling, singing, laughing and so forth.  At first the physical expressions may not seem to be doing any good. 

And after a while it even gets harder, but if we keep it up, soon we will get a "gusher" of joy.

I don't think being joyful means that I am supposed to go around laughing hilariously all the time, spinning around, and jumping up and down with a plastic, frozen smile on my face. 

Use Wisdom
We need to use wisdom.  I have had experiences with supposedly joy-filled Christians who actually hurt my feelings because they were insensitive.

I remember sharing something I was going through with a friend of mine.  It was something that was really hurting me emotionally.  Her response was a big smile and a loud, "Well, praise the Lord anyway!" 

I felt as if she had slapped me in the face.

If she had comforted me properly by showing understanding and concern, her ministry to me could have released real joy in my life.  But her fleshly and phony reaction hurt me and made my situation worse.

When I first went to her, I was just sad.  By the time she was finished with me, however, I was really depressed!

We always need to use wisdom.  There may be times when we feel like spinning around in joy before the Lord.  Maybe something really exciting has happened and we feel we can hardly contain it. 

But if we were in a restaurant or the grocery store, considering the feelings and reactions of those around us would be wise. 

We don't want to hurt our witness as Christians by doing things that make others think of us as emotional fanatics.

Although we can rejoice exuberantly at times, most of the time we rejoice by being glad and calmly happy. And, as the Lord showed me, that means smiling, or even simply living in a state of calm delight.

Source: Help Me I'm Depressed by Joyce Meyer
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Joyce Meyer
Web site: Joyce Meyer Ministries
Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A New York Times bestselling author, her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. Her candid communication style allows her to share openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives.

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