“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
WHEN NEHEMIAH wrote, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” God’s people were rebuilding Jerusalem after returning from seventy years of captivity in Babylon. They were surrounded, outnumbered, and threatened each day by hostile nations. Similarly, there’s bad news today. But there’s also good news. (1) We are in a church-planting boom. Church expert Ed Stetzer says new churches are actually being planted in the United States more quickly than old ones are dying—and research shows that 60 to 80 percent of people who join new churches are from unchurched backgrounds. This is true in other nations too. That means more people are being reached with the gospel today than when dead religious churches talked about evangelism but failed to do it. (2) Latin America is experiencing a political and spiritual awakening. Political change in Venezuela is one more indication that leftist governments are losing power. Similar movements against corruption are occurring in Argentina, Brazil, and other Latin American countries—at a time when evangelical churches are growing at unprecedented rates. (3) The Bible is still the most popular book ever. It’s also the best-selling and most widely distributed book. Nearly four billion copies were printed and sold globally in the last five decades—far exceeding any other book. Don’t let the bad news steal your joy. If you have become negative and fearful because of what’s going on in the world, push your rejoice button and reset your spiritual life. God is moving, and all who trust in Him have something to celebrate.