Do we as believers really understand the need for joy in our lives? Often times I think we forget that it's necessary. Too many times we allow "joy stealers" to come and rob us of what God has given us to strengthen us. In Nehemiah 8: 10 it says "...and be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold" AMP. With joy, we have strength and are able to make it as a disciple of Christ. There are some things we must do in order to keep the "joy stealers' from doing their job. First, we must recognize what comes to steal our joy. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and we get outside of the will of God. When it is revealed to us that we have veered off course, we can lose our joy. You see that's what happened in this scripture. The people had not had the law of the Lord for many years and once it was found, the priests took the time to read the law to the people. Once the people heard the law, they realized how far out of God's will they had traveled and they began to weep and mourn. The priests told the people to get themselves together because they should rejoice that the law was found and they needed to have joy because that is what would strengthen them. Once we recognize what steals our joy then we need to avoid it at all costs. See, sometimes our joy stealers are those who are our close friends or relatives and every opportunity they can, it seems that they try to do something to steal our joy. Avoid them. Stay away from them. When they start trying to put negativity in your heart and mind get away from them. Turn your heart and mind to those things that are edifying. Phil. 4: 8 tells us what to focus our minds on that will ensure that we can maintain our joy. "Finally my brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue if there be any praise, think on these things." KJV We've got to take control over whether or not we will walk in joy. Remember, we need it in order to have strength!