Passage: Nehemiah 8:9-18
In this text, we see Nehemiah and Ezra commanding the people of Israel to rejoice. Can God ask us to rejoice when we are grieving? Why would God teach us to put aside our mourning and learn to "make great rejoicing" instead? The gospel of Jesus shows us that because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, there is the ultimate turn around that helps us to turn all sorrow into genuine joy. Therefore, the bible teaches us to be mindful of Jesus' good news and practice joy; to grow in it and learn to rejoice. The practice of biblical joy helps us to escape bitterness that eats away at our souls; it allows us to turn to Jesus and follow him faithfully.