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Are you tired of singing the blues? I don’t mean really out loud singing, I am talking more about being a little blue and discouraged from the winter. So many people get a little discouraged when there are no leaves on the trees and limited sunshine–the winter blues. If you are singing the blues, I believe God has some encouragement for you today.
Nehemiah 8:9-12 is where we find God’s people singing the blues.
They had come back from 70 years of captivity to see their beloved city Jerusalem in shambles. The wall was torn down, the temple destroyed and God’s people were disheartened.
As the Israelites tried to rebuild, their enemies were constantly trying to stop their progress. As they were cleaning up the temple, a scroll was found. God’s Word. It was then they realized how far from God they had drifted. They began to mourn.
In chapter 8, Nehemiah and Ezra tell the people it is time to beat the blues. Mourning needed to cease and they needed to celebrate!
I love verse 10 that says, “eat of the fat, drink of the vine and give portions to those who have none.” Girl, if that isn’t a party, I don’t know what is! Nehemiah and Ezra were saying to the people, it is time to feast!
You may be thinking, “how can you feast when things are so bad?”
Margaret Feinberg in her book Fight Back with Joy says it well. “Celebration never denies the harsh realities of the situation. It demonstrates that you can look beyond the immediate situation and see God’s perspective. You aren’t throwing a party because of the loss, tragedy, or pain but in spite of it. You are choosing to rejoice in the Lord, the God of your salvation, God your Savior, God is to be celebrated in times of feast and in times of famine. Moments of celebration, especially in times of great adversity require faith. If Joy is the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us, then celebration asks us to act on it by practicing an abundance mentally in times of scarcity.”
Now that is great encouragement! We don’t celebrate because of the adversity or difficulty, we celebrate in spite of it. So let the party begin!
Choose a day and ask a few friends to meet you out to eat or cook for them in your home. Look for others that might be struggling during the winter slump and party! As you visit and talk make it your goal to encourage and look for good things going on around you. You may even want to take a walk if it is warm enough–just to celebrate the sunshine!
No matter how you celebrate, choose to have joy. Nehemiah 8:10 says “for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” We can and will have joy because He is our strength!
Beat the blues, my friend, with the joy of the Lord and sweet time spent with friends.