When God’s people were in exile and they were about to come home and rebuild their fallen city of Jerusalem, they were going to be attacked by all the neighboring nations. When the city walls had fallen in the ancient world, this was a big deal. It was extremely dangerous. You needed those walls to keep you alive. So when they were about to go home and rebuild their fallen city, Nehemiah told them, “The joy of the Lord must be your strength.”
Guys, this was not a joy that was put on rose colored glasses and pretend everything’s fine. “You have no problems to really deal with. Just feel happy and that’s it”. No, he was talking to people who knew they might go home and die trying to rebuild that city. Joy has to be your strength.
Of all the things that it’s important for you to do right now as you stay home, self-care – those things that make you feel balanced, the things that feed your spirit, that time in prayer, the time in working out, the time talking to friends – these things are utterly crucial, because more than money, more than a good plan, more than the security that comes from the world, the joy in the Lord is going to keep you strong right now. Stay in that joy.