Crafts/Printables, Summer of Joy

Abiding in God’s Love

Lam 322.23

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 and 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.

This summer we are inviting you to join us

on an 8 week journey towards

abiding in the harvest. 

We have an entire resource page set up to help you succeed. Each week we will be adding new ideas to it. This week we would encourage you to  read the suggested daily scripture, select one or two of the action activity ideas, start a joy journal to implement, and be sure to subscribe to the Summer of Joy Spotify playlist.

Oh, and because we think this is super fun and every big kid (a.k.a:adult) could benefit from some added joy in their life we would love for you to share it with a friend or two. #summerofjoy

week two final

Find all the resources you need to get started here.

Diamond Willow PhotographyBrit IMG_25152013-03-09018Britta is a sojourner.  She was a military kid and is a military wife, now living in the high desert of Arizona and far, far from her New Orleans family.  She happily homeschools and one of her favorite hobbies is snuggling on the couch reading history and literature with 11-year-old Gracie and 9-year-old Josh. Britta and her husband Scott recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Britta writes about the intersection of God’s Word and her world at Britta Lafont ~ Everyday Holiness (