Let’s face it. There is much in life that hurts.
Like love, for instance.
Sometimes it hurts to love others. Yet Jesus calls us to love one another and to walk in His strength and provision as we do.
Love requires investment into the people around us. Such investment involves risk, like vulnerability, pledging our time and focus, and certainly the risk of heartache.
As we love others, experiencing such situations as loss, strife, disagreement, and pain can make us lose sight of our joy. I don’t know about you, but any measure of relational conflict weighs heavily on my heart and mind. My tendency is to let my joy slip out of place. I forsake the gift of joy that the Lord, Himself provides.
I’ve come to recognize, in those moments, that it’s time to get back to basics.
It’s said that legendary NFL coach, Vince Lombardi took his team back to basics after an embarrassing defeat. In the locker room before the very next practice, he displayed and introduced an item to his team as if they’d never seen it before. “This, gentlemen,” he said, “is a football.” Lombardi took his team back to basics.
In our own lives when our emotions become clouded or life becomes jumbled, sometimes we, need to get back to basics too. One way to do this is to recall the foundational principles of God’s truth.
When my joy is off-kilter and I need to recall fundamental teachings, I ask myself,
What do I know is true?
Often, the Holy Spirit will help me recall several foundational truths, such as:
God always keeps his promises.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you—Silvanus, Timothy, and I—did not become “Yes and no.” On the contrary, in him it is always “Yes.” For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God
2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (CSB)
God only gives good gifts.
He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?
Romans 8:32 (CSB)
God is for us.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8:31 CSB
We can experience joy in trials.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing
James 1:2-4 CSB
God is our source of joy.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (CSB)
Help to Embrace Today’s Joy
Going back to basics—recalling the foundational truth from God’s word—helps me embrace today’s joy and it can help you, too. It fuels me to walk in abiding and unshakable joy with Christ.
Here are 4 benefits or going back to basics, and how they inspire daily joy:
A focused heart on God
Remembering what’s true helps me shift my focus from my situation and turn it back to the Lord where it belongs. This brings immediate comfort and does wonders toward restoring my hope and joy.
Trusting God’s sovereignty
Acknowledging God’s character, His involvement in my circumstance, and re-declaring my trust in His good and generous provision helps me resist worry, anxiety, and fear. With those roadblocks out of the way, I feel freedom in the joy of the Lord.
Seeing the big, Kingdom-sized picture
Circumstance can feel overwhelming at times, making me feel as if I am the center of my own universe. Recalling the truth of God helps me remember that “it’s not about me.” God has Kingdom purposes in mind and I am His vessel, His instrument. He will accomplish His divine plans.
Experiencing joy in God’s presence
When I focus on God, acknowledge His character, and surrender to His ways, I am entering the presence of the Holy King. There, scripture says, I find fullness of joy.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by life, I encourage you to embrace today’s joy by getting back to basics. Remember foundational truths about God and His ways. He will not only change your heart toward your situation, He’s sure to brighten your day as you focus on Him.
My the Lord strengthen you today through His Word.