Nehemiah 8:8-12 is an awesome verse that helps me remember to rejoice as God shows me how I can become more Christ-like.
A lot of times, as we study the Bible and discover how far we fall short of God’s perfection it is easy to be sad. Instead of being depressed, we should celebrate: we have heard God’s words, understood them, and continue to grow in our realization that “the joy of the Lord is our strength!”
They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for all the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
And the Levites, too, quieted the people telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them, Nehemiah 8:8-12.