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Do Not Be Grieved

January 21, 2017

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Do Not Be Grieved

When Israel fell  into all sorts  of sins  and refused to repent,  even though God  sent many preachers to them,  God finally punished them  by allowing their enemies  to totally defeat them  and take them  into exile.

In the same way  our heavenly Father  will guide us  with various kinds  of discipline  to help us realize  that there is a consequence  for our sins.     We do need  to straighten out  before it is too late.

Although it is necessary  for God  to discipline us,  He is also  our loving Father,  full of mercy  and forgiveness.     And that’s how He was  with the Israelites.     After they had been  in exile  for many years  under the Persians,  God started arranging events  so that they were able  to return  to Israel  and set up their homes again.

In that time  Nehemiah got permission  from the Persian king  to return  to Jerusalem  to rebuild the city walls  that had been broken down  and burned.     Nehemiah organized the Israelites  so that they got the walls rebuilt,  even though enemies opposed them  all the way.

When they finished the walls,  Nehemiah gathered  all the people  so that they could renew their covenant  with the LORD.     When they got together  Ezra read the Book of the Law  of Moses  and it was explained  to the people.

Just hearing the word  of God  for the first time  in years  brought the people  to tears of repentance.     They realized how far they had fallen away  from the Lord.

Here’s the beautiful part  of the story.     As Nehemiah saw their repentance  and weeping,  he said, This day is holy  to the LORD your God;  do not mourn  or weep.”      And after instructing them  to prepare a feast,  Nehemiah said what is vital  for all repentant children  of God.     He said in Nehemiah 8:10:

Do not be grieved,  for the joy  of the LORD  is your strength.”

And that is how it is  for us also.     As we read God’s word  and see our sinful condition,  and repent  because we are so pitifully gross,  we are not  to grieve  too long.     Instead,  God wants us  to receive the joy  of His forgiveness  because it is real  and powerfully true.

If we mourn  and grieve  over our sins too long,  it means we are not trusting  in the love  and forgiveness  of God.     Yes,  God wants us  to repent  and change our ways.     But,  after that  it is most necessary  to accept the gift  of forgiveness.

When we have accepted  that gift,  then we must take it all in  and rejoice.     That is the only way  to remain strong  in the LORD  —  trust in his love  and obey with joy.

As we accept  our forgiveness,  we can joyfully say,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD is my strength!”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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