A People of Praise

Read: Nehemiah 8:1-12

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (v. 10)

What is God rebuilding in your life? What is he restoring? While the last few years have been marked by setbacks and losses for many, God is still the same: faithful, powerful, and near to his people. Even now he’s redeeming the past to make all things new.

When the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was completed, the Jews gathered together to hear the reading of the Law of Moses (v. 1). Men, women, and children “who could understand what they heard” (v. 2) listened as Ezra the priest opened God’s Word and read it aloud (v. 3). The people wept as they remembered their sin and all it had cost them for so many years. But Nehemiah reminded them that this was a new beginning! He urged them to go to their homes and celebrate. “And do not be grieved,” he told them, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (v. 10). The people left the square “to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them” (v. 12).

There’s a time to mourn in the ruins of what has been lost, but there’s also a time to leave the ruins for a new beginning. Looking to the future, consider all God is doing in your life right now to rebuild and restore you. Praise him for these things, and let this joy give you strength and hope for the days ahead. Great is his faithfulness! Great is his love! —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, praise God for his work of restoration in your life.

About the Author

Laura Sweet

Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Faithful among the Ruins