Gen. 21:6 Sarah said, “God has made laughter (Isaac) for me; everyone who hears will laugh (Isaac) with me.”
What a strange name for a hurricane, Isaac. Isaac refers to the supernatural joy of heaven, it is actually the word for laughter in hebrew. Supernatural joy is one of the strangest and sweetest parts of our spiritual life. It is strange because humans associate joy and happiness with their circumstances in life. The joy of the Lord is TOTALLY UNRELATED TO OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. His joy is the results of an infusion of God Himself into our souls. It is the outpouring of His Spirit that produces spiritual joy in our lives. Nehemiah lived in quite a depressing time. He was born and raised in exile, far away from his homeland. He was called by the Lord to lead in the rebuilding of Jerusalem. His city was in ruins, but as Nehemiah said, “the joy of the Lord is your strength”. Matthew Henry spoke about some of the effects of this spiritual joy. Check out his thoughts.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength. Let it not be a carnal sensual joy, but holy and spiritual, the joy of the Lord, joy in the goodness of God, under the direction and government of the grace of God, joy arising from our interest in the love and favor of God and the tokens of his favor. “This joy will be your strength, therefore encourage it; it will be your strength, First, For the performance of the other duties of the feast.” The more cheerful we are in our religious exercises the more we shall abound in them. Secondly, “For all that which you have to do in conformity to the law of God which has been read to you.” Holy joy will be oil to the wheels of our obedience. Thirdly, “For the resisting of your enemies that are plotting against you.” The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies, and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.”
Henry recognized the practical effects of this spiritual joy on our lives. He said we could do the work of God, follow His precepts, and defeat our enemies by the supernatural influence of the joy of the Lord. I have found all of this to be true in my life. The joy of the Lord actually spills over into ministry making ministry activities quite pleasurable. This joy that come from the Spirit is holy and tends to bring us into conformity to God’s standards in our lives. Concerning our enemies, often those may be the crazy circumstances we find ourselves in. The joy of the Lord strengthens us on the inside to the point that the darkest days are filled with His light. Those of us in Southeast Louisiana have just experienced a hurricane called Isaac. The hurricane wasn’t very funny, but it gave us another chance to drink of the Lord’s goodness and let “God’s Isaac” have His way in us.