Joy Is Your Strength
Certain doom had been changed into certain victory for Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:17. The people had received a word from the Lord and they were expressing their feelings of joy and happiness by praising and worshipping God.
You do not need to wait until deliverance is accomplished; in fact, the deliverance may not come until you praise the Lord for the victory. Praise the Lord before the answer comes.
In this period of praise, immediately after they had heard from the Lord, Judah was strengthened to stand up and go into the wilderness to face the enemy. The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). This is a simple, yet profound, statement of fact. Do not try to go out and face your enemy until you have the joy of the Lord in your heart. This strength of joy will come into your heart as you begin to praise and worship the Lord by faith.
In the natural, Judah had nothing for which to praise the Lord at this moment. The enemy was still a united front against them and at that very moment was marching toward Jerusalem. But after the day of prayer and praise, the entire nation was ready to march. Yes, I said the nation. There was no paid, professional army that was designated to go out and meet the enemy. It was the whole body of the nation that was going to face the battle together.
The Bible tells us that they rose up early (verse 20), and there is a tremendous lesson in that example. They gathered together in the wilderness, but before they met the enemy the king called a halt again. He wanted to find the strongest men to put in front of the weaker men, women, and children.
Is that what he did? No! He found those with the best and strongest voices to lead the people in praise and worship as they went forth into direct contact with the enemy. What a strange leader! Why didn’t he find the most accurate marksman, those with the biggest muscles, or those with the best armor? Because the physical battle was not theirs and the victory did not depend upon the arm of flesh.
Remember this however: Just because the battle was not theirs but the Lord’s does not mean that they did not do anything. The entire nation of Judah began to praise the Lord in the face of battle.
Think about your own situation…what might happen if you begin to praise the Lord today in the face of your enemy, in spite of your problem?
Make this declaration:
The joy of the Lord is my strength. I praise God today in the face of my enemy, in spite of my problem.