At some point in time, each of us will face an enormity of distress which serves to reduce us to the basics. If that “basic” isn’t the truth and wonder of God’s perfect love for us, we will probably default to the cruelest of untruths.

We can be bolstered by the basics, such as:

  • Nothing can change the truth of God’s Word; and
  • The only thing that matters is that God loves me (or us).

Or:

We can be harmed by one or more falsehoods in the name of being “reduced to the basics”, such as:

  • I’m just a failure;
  • There’s no hope for me; or
  • God isn’t worthy of my trust.

* * *

No matter how beautiful the believer’s transition is from not having a personal relationship with God to becoming His adopted son or daughter through faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13), trials and hardships will arise (John 16:33). However, God not only reveals to us their coming, but the mystery of them serving a good and worthwhile purpose in the believer’s life (Romans 8:28-29).

Nonetheless, when the waves of turmoil hit us we may find ourselves wrestling with questions such as:

If God loves me, why did He let this happen?

In our humanness, our faith can begin hinging on “if” tests when things don’t align with what we thought we understood about God. What our faith should rest on, however, are His unchanging attributes.

Through the lens of Scripture, we can observe Abraham—often referred to as the father of the faith—walking in trust and obedience to God. Yet Abraham underwent significant difficulties over the course of time which revealed areas of his faith in need of refinement. The biblical record establishes the same held true for Moses, Joseph, the apostles of Christ, and countless others.

Just as it does for those who love the Lord today, in fact.

My own faith walk with God has more than a few ugly scenes in the rear-view mirror. And my continuing need for a greater and purer faith will remain throughout my life. Yet I have come to know what it means to be standing at a dying child’s hospital bed or curled up in the fetal position on the floor in deepest agony of soul—while being reduced to—or rather, bolstered by—the basics:

God loves me.

I am His.

And nothing can change that.

 * * *

These are not examples of a strong person, but mere snapshots in time when an ordinary, broken believer momentarily joined the ranks of those who have clung to the truth of who and what God is in the midst of extreme difficulties.

Which is what it means to be bolstered by the basics:  Remembering God’s truths which override everything and clinging to those truths—no matter the intensity of the storm in which we find ourselves.

 * * *

There’s no such thing as a heavenly-issued certificate of: You’ve Succeeded in Surfing Tidal Waves where the recipient goes on to never again experience fears, doubts, or questions. But there is something far better…

God and His Word (Psalm 18:30)

His unchanging attributes (Psalm 102:25-27)

His gift of salvation (John 3:16)

The Holy Spirit who lives within all who believe (John 14:16-17)

God’s unfailing promises (Hebrews 10:23)

The truth of who believers are in Christ (Ephesians 1:4)

The victory Jesus won for His own, both now and forever (I Corinthians 15:57)

These are basics of the Christian faith which the believer must cling to. Not just during trials and the whirlwinds we find ourselves in because we live in a world torn by the consequences of sin, but in our every day walk of life.

* * *

You’d think professional baseball players with multi-million-dollar contracts wouldn’t need anyone to remind them to keep their eye on the ball; it’s one of the fundamentals of the game. Yet across the globe coaches, advisors, drill sergeants, lecturers and mentors can be found exhorting their charges or teams to concentrate and focus on what? The basics.

Within the spiritual realm, any believer can subconsciously lose focus of the basic fundamentals of who and what God is. It’s surprisingly easy for us to acknowledge who we are in Christ Jesus (and the countless benefits of being found “in Him”) yet failing to allow these truths to bolster us in a time of need.

* * *

A teenager became a successful rock climber under the tutorage of experienced and knowledgeable climbers. What I’m talking about, here, are individuals climbing natural rock outcroppings and cliff faces. She climbed where small sections of rock might break off, a foot could slip on sand, or a hand reaching for a hold above her might initiate the warning buzz of a rattlesnake.

In a discussion about spiritual matters over lunch one day, she shared an incredibly honest and powerful insight:

“I’ve been able to complete increasingly difficult climbs. But I’m beginning to think the challenge I most need to face is allowing the truth of God’s Word to make the twelve-inch journey from my head to my heart.”

The fundamentals of the faith were in her head, praise God!

And she realized they needed to penetrate her heart.

* * *

Do you have the fundamentals of the Christian faith stored in your mind and in your heart? Are you habitually exposing yourself to the strong and beautiful exhortations, promises, and blessings of God’s Word in order to keep those basics in the forefront of your mind? Is it your ongoing prayer for God to sound those truths deep into your innermost being?

Whatever our answers to each of the above questions, God has made every provision for us to learn, know, and be bolstered by the truth and wonder of His love and provisions for us.

And, Praise God, He’s is willing and able to strengthen us with truth: in our minds and in our hearts!

* * *

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit in all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

[Ephesians 6:10-18]

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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