When I was about 4 years old, I saw my first movie, Disney’s Cinderella. It was already my favorite book. My mother had to read it to me everyday, and before I could read it myself, I knew all the words. My parents still laugh about the way I stood stock-still in the darkened movie theater aisle, mesmerized by the larger than life images on the screen.
My love of Cinderella turned into a bit of a complex. During playtime, I would sweep the patio and pretend that someone was keeping me at work and not letting me go to the ball. It would have been much better for me to just clean my room, while I was pretending. I was famous for my messy room. Things took a turn for the worse in my young life, when mom and dad got wise to my “stuff it under the bed” trick. The “smash it in the closet” trick was discovered not long after that.
This “Cinderella complex” followed me into adulthood. I kept waiting to be rescued from the villains in my life: the broken relationships, the dead-end job, the laundry‘¦I was constantly waiting for rescue, relief, and rest.
The truth is that we all have a built-in expectation for rescue, relief and rest.
We are meant to look for our Hero and to find joy in Him. The lie is that we can only find joy when we have the just-right husband, and that perfect job, when we’re eating all organic foods, and we have well-behaved children. This lie keeps us searching.
Truth brings enduring joy:
- Jesus has already rescued me.
- He has chosen me for His Bride.
- He is faithful and steadfast in His love for me
- We will live happily ever after.
There is relief and rest in all of this. This. is. joy.
When I forget who Jesus is, and who I am in Him, I can stumble. Jesus never stumbles. He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The Lord is steadfast in His love for us.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lam 3:22-24).
The sacrifice of Christ should provoke in us a steadfast love and a loyal affection, like His. This mutual, steadfast, covenant-keeping love is the Hebrew “HESED”. This is a love resulting in mutual commitment, like marriage. Hesed grows in us a deep, relational knowledge of God. Remembering His grace, and knowing His faithful love for us, gives us a changed heart, full of joy: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever (Ps 136:1).
This week, let’s all determine to grow in love for God. He is pretty amazing. Commit to knowing Him better, more intimately. He seeks after you. Seek Him in His Word and in prayer. Invite Him into your thought-life. Count on Him. Believe that He loves you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3). Remember the Cross?
Please share with our #SummerofJoy community about a time that you felt God’s steadfast love. Or tell us about how the love relationship between you and God brings you joy.