The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength

From the archives of Evelyn Roberts

About six weeks after the accident that took the life of our daughter Rebecca and her husband, Marshall, I realized my strength was gone.

One night after I had gone to bed, I was reading the Bible, as is my custom, and a Scripture just seemed to jump out at me. It said, The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). I laid the Bible down and said aloud, “Lord, that’s it! I don’t have the strength because my joy is gone. Where is the joy in my heart that I usually get from You?” Then I began to ponder joy. What brings joy to me? Music! Why, of course. I hadn’t been listening to praise music.

All of my life I have loved music, especially sacred music. Anytime I felt lonely or depressed, I could turn on the stereo and play hymns and feel such joy that depression would fade away. In fact, it was through music that I had decided to give my heart and life to Jesus.

In a church service one night a young lady played a hymn on her violin and sang a song that went something like this: “Jesus went a little farther. His disciples went to sleep, but He went all the way to Calvary for me.”

In my mind, I caught a glimpse of Jesus trudging up Golgotha’s hill carrying a heavy cross for me — all for me. I’d never felt such love before, and it moved me to love Him back and commit my life to Him.

Suddenly, I realized that since the accident, I had turned off any kind of hymn or sacred music. Every time I heard them, I broke up and just couldn’t stand to hear them. Then I realized how cunning Satan is. I had allowed him to steal from me the very thing that brings me joy; and since I had no joy, I also had no strength.

The next morning, I turned on records, tapes, the radio—anything that had spiritual music, and my strength and my joy began to return.