C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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35. The Joy Of The Lord.

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10.

Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced; for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced; so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off. Nehemiah 12:43

The people who had wept before, under a sense of sin, were now called upon to rejoice. Holy mourning prepares the way for spiritual mirth. Clear shining follows rain. It was well that they kept themselves under such control that they could weep or rejoice as they were bidden.

Their joy was remarkable for its spirituality and universality, and in these and other ways it was an example for us.

I. THERE IS A JOY OF DIVINE ORIGIN. "The joy of the Lord."

1. It rejoices in God himself, his character, his doings, his commands, and all that makes up his glory. It rejoices especially that he himself is ours. "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1).

2. It possesses a deep sense of reconciliation, acceptance, adoption, and union with Christ Jesus. Joy must necessarily flow from all these founts of blessing (Isa. 12:3).

3. It enjoys assurance of future perseverance, victory, and perfection, by reason of the finished work of Christ, and the immutability and omnipotence of divine grace (Heb. 6: 17-18).

4. It is exalted by the present personal fellowship with God out of which it springs. "We also joy in God" (Rom. 5:11).

5. It is happy in the honor of service (1 Tim. 1:12).

6. It is acquiescent in the divine will, in providence, affliction, disappointment, etc. (Rom. 5: 3).

7. It is full of hope for the future - a well of delight.

II. THAT JOY IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH. "The joy of the Lord is your strength:'

1. It arises from considerations which strengthen. The same truths which make us glad also make us strong.

2. It is sustained by a life which is strong, even the life of Christ within us, maintained by the Holy Ghost.

3. It fortifies against temptation, or persecution, or affliction, and so it proves a present strength in time of need.

4. It fits for abounding service. He who is joyous of heart himself will seek the good of others.5. It forbids all fear by giving a sense of ability to face every enemy. It is calm, constant, humble, real, deep-seated strength.


1. Praise: "Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, Amen, Amen" (verse 6).

2. Sacrifices of joy: "They offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced."

3. Expressions of joy: "God had made them rejoice with great joy."

4. Family happiness: "The wives also and the children rejoiced."

5. This joy ensured the notice of the neighbors, "so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off."


It was God's gift, but it came by:

Hearing attentively. "The ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law" (verse 3).

Worshipping devoutly. "They bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord" (verse 6).

Mourning penitently."All the people wept, when they heard the words of the law" (verse 9).

Understanding clearly. "Great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them" (verse 12).

Obeying earnestly. "They made booths, and sat under the booths;" etc. (verse 17).

Let us seek after joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement; for this is a true, safe, sanctifying joy. It is such an ornament as well becomes the thoroughly devoted believer while on earth, and prepares him to unite in the hallelujahs of heaven.

There is such a thing as a joyless heart. God help us to have no personal experience of it!

There are also deadly joys. From these let us flee to the living joys of grace.

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