My week got off to a pretty bad start. It seemed like life was just closing in and I was stressed out and overwhelmed. What’s worse, I knew it was all self-inflicted. My priorities were messed up and I was only hurting myself.
Early in the week, I came up with the following statement that really helped me.
Slow down. Breath deep. Repeat after me:
God’s got this.
His timing is perfect, His ways are best, and He. Loves. Me.
My number one priority is to know and love God, because He first loved me.
It didn’t actually solve a problem, it just helped me to calm down.
It was the reminder I needed. It’s probably the reminder I need each and every day. But it was just a start. It helped me refocus, but I was so emotionally raw that I just sat on that. I couldn’t move on or move forward. In fact, this blog post has sat on my computer partly written for three days because that was a far as I could get. It calmed my soul, but I was missing the strength to move forward.
The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “…do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
That’s what I was missing.
Have you ever been there?
I wasn’t looking to the joy of the Lord for strength, I was looking to the situations and circumstances that surrounded me. I was an emotional wreck, because my joy wasn’t dependent on God, but on man. And it wreaked havoc on me like you would not believe. The condemnation I was heaping on myself was insane. At one point I had even convinced myself that I had no place as a Christian blogger because I was such a mess.
And then God reminded me of something He showed me just a week ago in Matthew 14:22-23.
We are never out of God’s reach. It doesn’t matter what time it is, where we are, or what we are going through, God can reach us. Just like Jesus made it to the disciples at 4am (ish), walking on the water to the middle of the lake in the middle of a storm.
If He can do that, He can get to us in the middle of our mess.
We just have to focus on Him, instead of the storm swirling all around us. We have to rejoice that He is with us, and trust Him to get us through it.
Faith, hope, and love.
We have to have faith that He is with us. Hope in His strength, sovereignty, and salvation. And focus on the love He has for us.
When we get our priorities and our focus realigned, God can fill us to overflowing with His joy. And even if our situations and circumstances haven’t changed, we can rejoice with Him.