The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me?” [Isaiah 40:27]

How often do you struggle with your faith in face of challenges? Perhaps this is your situation right now. Things were going so well for you and then out of the blues, the tables turned. Disappointments, frustration, and anger became your next-door neighbors. Everything has gone so haywire that you cannot even remember the last time you felt joyful, which makes you question the part of the Bible that tells you the Joy of the Lord is your strength. You’re always weary, thinking about when God will get you out of this ugly place and then going ahead to create a backup plan just in case God doesn’t respond since it appears that He has lost track of you. You are not alone. I have been there myself, struggling with my faith in God while trying to fake smiles to everyone who asks me how I’m faring spiritually. Let’s take a walk together down the Bible times, shall we?

Can you honestly say that your situation was worse than Job’s? You remember him, don’t you? The rich man who lost everything in just one day just because the devil wanted to prove a point. He lost all his children, his possessions, his servants, all but one thing, his faith in God. There was every reason to curse God. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I were in his place. He had faithfully served God, dedicated all he had to God and yet God felt he had the right to take it all back. Isn’t that a good enough reason to lose faith in God and veer off into the arms of the devil? His wife who was supposed to be his helpmeet, his confidant showed her true colors in the midst of pressure. She personally advised him to curse God and die but somehow even with nothing left to look forward to and with the pain of the sores on his body, Job stood tall in faith. He refused to let the devil take away his faith in God as well. His friends came with the same advice, under the guise of offering him comfort but he still stood, deeply rooted in his love for Christ. Can that much be said about you? The true test of one’s faith is not when everything is going well but when things are so messed up that you have every reason to spit on God’s Word and go away.


When God spoke through Nehemiah saying, the Joy of the Lord is your strength, he meant every Word he said. God is not a man that he should lie. He knows your situation. He knew you’d walk this path when he created you yet he created you anyway. He made His joy available to you through His Word. Sometimes, we don’t get an instant answer when we face challenges but that does not in anyway mean God has lost track of you. It is not a reason for you to panic either rather it is a reason to rejoice. That sounds weird, right? That’s the way the Father is. He uses the foolish things to confirm the wise. Those challenges you are experiencing right now does not mean that you did something wrong and now God is punishing you. That is not true in any way. They are there to help you grow your faith in God. Do not attempt to try to walk things out on your own or try shortcuts. There is beauty in test and trials. Let it do its work. Keep praying and getting closer to God. God will comfort, encourage, refresh and cheer you up but he cannot do that when you are so focused on the happenings around you that you forget to seek Him.  

Let me tell you something you may not know, for growth to take place, there has to be great discomfort. Look at a woman’s hair for instance. When it is being braided, it looks really scattered and unpleasant but when the stylist is done, you do not need to be told about how beautiful the hair is or how beautiful she looks. The face and the hair will speak for themselves. That’s the same principle that operates in the Kingdom of God. Job was an eyesore to all who saw him but by the time the testing period of his faith was over, he came out triumphant. He received more than he had earlier and his friends learned great lessons from his attitude in that situation. He did not need to announce his victory because it was so evident that it made its way into the Bible. I do not know what exactly it is that you are going through but the fact that you’re reading this means that you need to be comforted. You’ve come to the right place. The difference between the old covenant and the new era; the dispensation of grace is that you have God living and breathing in you; the Holy Spirit so you are not and will never alone. You have the luxury of walking into God’s presence with just a word. Let’s use this wisely, shall we? Go to the Word of God. That’s how God communicates. Look at His promises. They are still true even in this very moment. Keep speaking it and professing it over your life. Times may get so hard that you are in tears and panic constantly with your faith wavering. Don’t bother about that. Focus on Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him, the Word. It’s easy to focus on your situation especially when all you hear and see is negative but ask God for wisdom. That’s the first thing to do in this period. It’s all in James 1. God is a rewarder of they that seek him diligently seek him. Seek God even when you feel weary. Pray in all manner of entreaties. God doesn’t and can never forsake His own. This should give you great comfort. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with in this trying times and never treasure their words over the Word of God.

I’ll leave you with these words: For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not! [Hebrews 13:5b]. His grace is all you need. Choose to depend on Him regardless of your situation. He will surely see you through. Be of good cheer. Say to yourself: The Joy of the Lord is my strength!!!

More on Missionary work 

TEENS MISSION – Disciplining the Younger Generation for Christ

Taking the gospel to the younger generation, which is also missionary work [the great commission], has now proven to be a more difficult task as years go by. We are constantly at war with the media and other ungodly social vices that are competing for the attention of our teens. The devil is aggressively and shamelessly using his agents to take capture the hearts of our teens while we ignorantly sit back and keep using old wineskins to house new wine. The way we choose to respond to his vices is very important because if we do not use wisdom, we stand the risk of losing the younger generation to evil. We need to recognize that times have changed and there is a great need for those involved in teens mission to disciple these ones for Christ, using a very open and honest approach instead of going around in circles.

You were once teen-aged and I am pretty sure you can remember that all you were concerned about was your identity; how you appeared to other people and what you felt you must do to fit in. It is the same for the younger generation as well. Their parents, older relatives and other people whom they look to, their God-given guardian, are sometimes so wrapped up in their own world that they rarely pay attention to these ones. In the search for this identity, they turn to all the wrong sources and seek advice from the wrong people who happen to be the available ones. The internet becomes their most treasured asset and as you know where your treasure lies is where your heart is. As someone who is already in the teens’ mission or one who is planning to get involved, it is important to remember that you do not have to go to a 3rd world country to disciple teens for Christ. It all begins with those around you. The teens of this generation require an honest, “in-your-face” disciplinary approach to the gospel. By disciplinary, I do not mean physical beating. It simply means training them to develop self-control, build godly character and have an orderly life.

Leading Them Closer to Christ

Everything about God is relationship based. He sent His son to re-establish the relationship that was broken when man fell to sin. We communicate and hear clearly from God without confusion when we are in a relationship with Him. The same goes for us as human beings. We are relational beings which mean that in order for us to communicate effectively and with intimacy [not sexual intimacy], we must establish a relationship with whoever we are trying to reach. If you want to reach the teen-aged generation then you have to be willing to establish a relationship with them, be vulnerable. You will need to discard the “it is not my business mentality” and prepare to get your feelings hurt sometimes, because these kids may not be willing to give up their sinful lifestyle without a fight. They may not be your children but you have a responsibility towards training them and leading them closer to Christ and this makes it every bit of your business. This brings me to my next point. Lack of knowledge is the reason why they put up a resistance each time you try to lead them to Christ. They already have the poor mentality that anything Godly is boring so they’d rather have “fun” than be caged. We all know this is a lie from the pit of hell but how we choose to communicate that to our teens’ matters a lot. Some of the ways we can communicate these things to them include;

Building Relationships: Go out of your way and look for teens who are hurting or who are unruly. It doesn’t mean that the other ones who appear to be sane do not need disciplining but that is a good place to start. Sign up for teen discipleship meetings and become an active teacher. It is important to remember that these kids will not respond to you if you come from a place of condemnation. The way we perceive condemnation and the way they perceive condemnation are very different. How will they be willing to give up that which is sinful when they do not know that the way of life they have chosen for themselves is destructive? These kids do not want to be told the commandments and the laws that must be obeyed. It puts too much pressure on them. All they want is for someone to be real with them. You should be able to make your ministry so personal that they start to long for the truth you are selling to them. Speak to them in a manner that speaks directly to their teen-aged struggle. Show them how relevant the Word is in their lives and daily issues. Give practical examples, even using your life story as an example. Engage them while you teach and give dramatic illustrations. Relate with them on a personal level that will cause them to develop a consciousness for truth and experience Christ.

Be an Example: The only way we can be credible to them is when they see our passion for Jesus. Let your life tell a story. Let his love for them is reflected in you and your actions. You and your team must have a significant and trusting relationship with Christ and it must reflect in the way you live your life. Your life should be the message and not just your words. You cannot be telling them to give up on something while you are holding tight to it in the secret. Everything that is hidden will come to the open someday. Do not be the one to cause these little ones to fall because you have refused to develop self-control. Let your lifestyle and your words be aligned to the message you are trying to pass.

Build Trust: The teens today are looking for intimacy and maturation. The foundation of your relationship with them must be built on truth; honesty about who you are and even your past when necessary. They require sacrificial love. With them, the little things count. Spend time with them, listening to them no matter how irrelevant you think their words are or how off their timing may seem. It won’t be the powerful sermon we gave on sex or drugs they will remember, but the personal time we gave or their late-night phone call we are when they were facing a major problem or decision and just wanted to talk. They want to know and trust someone that they can do this with.

Point them to the Word: It is easy for them to start relying on you instead of on Jesus. Do not give an opportunity for this. Always point them to the Word. Hold bible discussion classes and trust the Holy Spirit to make the Word come alive to you so that you can make it come alive to them while teaching. It is also important that you remember that you are not the Holy Spirit. You do not have the ability to convict but only to be used as a vessel. Do not try judging the conviction of the Holy Spirit in their hearts by their reactions. Some of these ones know how to mask their feelings a lot and can make you feel like you are pouring water on a rock. Well, keep pouring. Just be patient. That rock will become a bowl someday but it is not for you to decide when that will be. Your job is to keep speaking God’s Word. It is also important that you pray for them. Spend time interceding for them. Works without faith is dead just as Faith without works is dead. Back up your labor of love with prayers made in faith.


The success of teens mission must be evaluated on how well it is leading them to a deeper commitment to Christ. Check to see the way they relate to others and the way they live their lives after the encounter with Christ. No one comes in contact with God and leaves the same. These kids who are being led to Christ will in turn, out of excitement share the good news to other kids who will come out of curiosity. This is why it is important we take careful steps in pulling them out of the world and into the light. Don’t just involve them in activities. Be creative. The end game is for them to have a relationship with Christ and to be deeply rooted in His love. Be a vessel in bringing this to pass. The salvation of these kids is your responsibility.


Medical Mission Trips


Everyone is looking for a purpose in life. This is what inspires and drives the actions we take. If you are reading this article, it means you did a search for medical mission trips simply because you feel the need to serve a community in a way that most people cannot or have refused to serve. Well, you have come to the right place.

Whether you are a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, lab scientist, dentist, optician, and any other healthcare workers or a pre-med student, one with an aspiring medical professional looking to enhance your skills and meet the needs of those who do not have enough funds to visit a hospital, the need for your services as a medical volunteer cannot be overemphasized. You can choose to be a part of something as beautiful as this; bringing healthcare to those who do not have the regular opportunity or enough funds to see a doctor or other healthcare workers. This can be very rewarding for your career as a medical professional and your spiritual walk with God because it will also be a way of expressing God’s love and a means of winning souls for Christ. You will be required to use your skills to provide adequate healthcare to those who need it, anywhere around the globe. It is important to note that you do not necessarily need to have a medical degree, as this program is not limited to those with degrees. You can be a volunteer who has an interest in medical placements or a healthcare intern or premed/prehealth student [undergraduates or graduate volunteers] interested in enhancing your skills and career as a potential medical practitioner. You will have the opportunity to work under seasoned medical personnel and learn from them, while you provide administrative, logistical or whatever kind of support that is necessary.


When choosing a program, it is very important that you consider the cost that it will implore. This cost can be made lighter if you choose to partner and work with organizations that are actively involved in assigning tasks to interested volunteer individuals. Such organizations include; e3 Partners, Partners Belize, Muso-Volunteer Positions, Equal Health Volunteer Officer and Intern Positions, Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, Volunteering solutions, Agape Volunteering,, International Medical Relief and several others. You could also consider fundraising and request help from organizations like Volunteer Forever. For each of the organizations listed above, there is an application fee attached to their offer, the placements available which you will also have to pay for. You can choose the one most affordable to you.



The first thing to do is to look really hard at your mission. Know how long you will be spending in your choice country, the type of delicacies they have there and if it will be any danger to your health. The conditions will be very different from what you are used to and you will spend lots of hours working with limited medical supplies and equipment. Language and other cultural barriers may also make your work difficult. How will you cope with all these constraints? To begin, it is important to have a list of countries where you’d be interested in serving abroad. Do a lot of research on those countries, their culture, language, cost of living, availability of a visa, how long it is available for and why that country stands out for you. Prepare yourself for your choice country because you are going to be there for a while. Work on obtaining a passport and immunizations necessary for the country you will be going to serve in. Follow all recommendations given by your organization to prevent illness. Make a copy of your passport when you get it for safe keeping. Study and research a lot. Get to know that country, community, people, their culture and every important thing about them. Pray a lot and lean on God for the grace to serve effortlessly and efficiently.

Another important thing is to get to know your team; the people you are going to be working with very well. Try to spend some time with them before you commit to working with them. Be sure you are clear on expectations; what they expect from you and what you expect from them. Ask a lot of specific questions in relation to this trip including costs. Know what additional costs you are expected to pay when you are abroad. You should also have a list of preferences for assigned volunteer projects which include either choosing to work with a medical professional or working within your own area of specialization. You could do a survey and highlight those projects you’d want to get involved in which are closely related to what you want to get out of a volunteer program. Keep an open mind about and consider all the options because the one you may consider may end up being best for your skills.  

Deciding what to take with you on this trip can be very confusing. You should have at least 2 bags with you. One should contain your personal things and the other medical supplies. Do not take any medical supply or personal item for granted. Be sure to carry it if it is important because they may not be available in the country you are going to. If they are valuable or irreplaceable, it is best to leave it at home because, despite your pure intentions for coming to that community, it still does not eliminate theft. Be sure to carry personal medications and a first-aid kit as well. Bringing your own toilet paper is also advised on this trip. Wet wipes and hand sanitizers are invaluable on this trip and should be your best friend, carry it wherever you go. Learn to educate those you’d be caring for on their symptoms and appropriate use of medicine. Bear in mind that illiteracy is very high in third world countries. You will need to monitor them yourself to ensure that they take the medications as prescribed. You could assign some educated personnel from their land or educated relative to help administer these medications appropriately.

In Conclusion…

While on your mission trip, it is important that you learn their language, no matter how little so that you can communicate with them effectively. Do well to smile a lot and interact with them a manner that depicts love and genuine care. This program may not be profitable financially but it is beneficial in every way. If you are a non-medical volunteer, you will have the privilege to work with seasoned medical experts even as you contribute in the way you can. For students, this program will give you a practical insight on what your medical profession entails and you will have the opportunity to practice firsthand under the supervision of medical experts. For the medical personnel and other health providers, you will have the opportunity to put your skill to a profitable cause and also meet the health needs of people who are not privileged enough to have regular health care. Most importantly, there is this sense of fulfillment that you will have knowing that you helped make someone better spiritually and physically. Take the gospel to them even as you take your medical supplies and skills to them. Spiritual and Physical healing is of benefit to everyone!

Jesus said to go it includes medical mission trips as well.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

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