“And do not be sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”, Neh.8:10 

These people had a great work to do and to carry on with and all of them needed strength to go on with it. Feeling sorry for themselves would not help, but rather hinder it being done even if that came from regret over past sins which God had already spied upon and atoned for by having sin done away with from their minds. Removal of sinning atones for sins.

One has to know how to become responsible towards whatever may go on within our hearts, since we may uphold something which may come to hinder the right state of mind towards a certain kind of specific work we just know God has commanded us to be able and fit to do. "Keep your heart with all diligence", Prov.4:23. We should be immune to think about sickness if we are sick and have the Lord with us; we should be decidedly unable to believe we have not the means to carry on through holiness having sin around and having God with us; and we should not let down upon that joy which is always responsible for having strength to go on. We should not undermine that strength by anything on this earth at all.

People talk a lot about woman getting depressed after childbirth. They call it “depression after delivery”. But, as hard as it is to bring a son to life, any mother who becomes depressed after bringing a son to this life, is thinking more of herself than of that child and new life which should become her joy and encouragement to go on and to be healed soon. In the same way, people loose on this life and soon become depressed because they have lost it or may have lost it and forget about the presence of the Lord which should be the only reward there is for any creature on this earth, just as a child should be to any mother whatsoever. As the Lord told Abraham to prevent him to become sorrowful about his situation having nothing of what had been promised yet, “Fear not, Abram, I am your exceedingly great reward”, Gen.15:1. Hope not upon earth and you won't become disappointed.

We are moral beings and we need to know our only aim and adventure for life is the Lord Himself – Him alone. I am sure we can think as far as that and we are able to do so. He comes with nothing in His hands once coming unto us, being forsaken and without fame, no beauty to show forth to entice any of us with. Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there shall your heart be”. People easily talk about being jolly and joyful at any cost. Yet, the only joy the Lord allows us to go on through is the “joy of the Lord”: “My joy I give unto you, not as the world gives it”. To have the joy of the Lord (which is not our own but remains as the reward that is with Him when He really comes into us), one must have the Lord. Many try having joy to convince themselves they have the Lord without having Him at all. These put things upside down, trying joy to bring God down instead of it being God bringing that joy down to them. “My reward is with Me” should mean a lot to our minds, since we should rejoice, yes, but in the Lord, that for real, and alone.

The secret is to have the poles of our hearts changed instead of having God changing Himself for our sakes. Let our treasure be Him before our hearts become real merry and joyful. Let no other joy become our strength at all, not even a false “joy of the Lord” – it is not worse it at all. God can be real joy. Have your heart cleansed and He will be there with His own strength, His own joy to replace and dethrone your own. Become responsible and do not allow yourself to jump over the wall to get that reward God grants to real sheep who hear and listen to His voice all the time. Get into it through the Door. Let your joy be the “joy of the Lord” and not your own and let it be real. Do not work it up yourself.

Above all, just do not choose to be sorry for yourself or for anything else if the Lord is there and if this day is holy unto the Lord at all. Neither be joyful if God is not there. Be responsible enough to the point of not undermining His strength within you. It is a thorn in our side to care for this world still, having God so near all of us – and I am glad it is so. It is the cares of this world which become thorns to undermine our real strength and real life within us. “Be strong” by having your heart set at the right treasure, the only one who dared to die for you. Look up and be healed – not of your sickness, but of your sadness in it having the Lord so close by or with you, and that for real. Only let Him be there for real. Amen.

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José Mateus