Promise of the New Year
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
I love the promise of a New Year. When the old washes away and the hope of tomorrow burns bright in my heart. Each November unearths the longing for greater challenges and renewed focus as January waits with anticipation to appear . This year I stood ready for 2017 to burst on the scene.
2016 ushered in many painful unexpected circumstances I would have never dreamed would manifest in my life. For me it was a year of lesson upon lesson. Some days my head would spin from the new level of understanding I needed to walk His ways instead of what the world would say.
Each moment teaching me the constant importance of leaning into Jesus and gaining strength in my weakness even when heaven seemed quiet.
I survived tangible loss, transition and changes in every area of life. If you had asked me five years ago if I would stand on this pathway of trouble I would have thought it impossible. But life comes and people go. In a blink of an eye, decisions beyond control alter life and open wounds. Forever changed but not destroyed.
How do we thrive in the unexpected pain of yesterday?
We celebrate. Today as my family stood together and prayed in the new year we all thanked God for sustaining us, and growing us closer to Him. Praising Him for working everything together for good.
Did you know God is not taken by surprise when life turns everything upside down?
God saw my story long ago and on the pages of each day he had written a provision for all my needs. Spiritual, emotional, relational and physical shifts are no match for Him.
"When surrendered to the potter's wheel He begins transforming the broken lump of clay into a masterpiece during the pain."
Each provision in detail, neatly packaged in his love, mercy, goodness and Grace wait to be poured out on life. Unexpected difficulties, if we allow, place us in the faithful hands of a loving God.
Will we lay aside every weight determined to hinder and refocus our mind and trust the goodness of God?
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
"Seasons of pain require faith to strip off every weight meant to slow us down."
Struggles and pain will come. And storms are a part of life but they do not have to weigh us down. We can either carry bitterness and strife over into the new year or cast it aside determined to grow through even the deepest agony.
I am not suggesting we ignore or pretend. But I do believe whatever we are going through God is eager to listen and set us up on a high mountain to supply our every need.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
Psalm 27:5 speaks of how God hides us and lifts us up on a rock during times of trouble. He hides us from harm and places us where he can keep a watchful eye.
Satan uses pain to isolate God's children. And it is easy to relax and step away from life during intense discomfort. He whispers lies of "no one cares" and "you are such a bother" in the midst of the pain.
But hiding does not bring glory to God. Pressing into the pain and carrying it to the alter offers God the opportunity to hide us in the secret place of His love.
As the waves of 2016 crashed around I cried out the deep secrets of my heart full of grief and he responded with gently bottling my tears and mending my broken heart. Through the power of persistent prayer, and standing in His word I broke through with renewed hope. It was not easy but he never intended us to camp out in the fire. We where meant to walk through.
He set me on a high mountain away from my enemy and covered me with his eyes of compassion.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18
"Endings imprint a painful memory on the heart."
God understands each ripple of sorrow and His strength works best in our weakness. We do not have to hide from Him. We are not an inconvenience or disappointment..
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
My prayer for each of us is to start 2017 with renewed focus and purpose as we protect time in prayer.
"No matter the struggle or circumstance God is our hiding place and he preserves us from trouble."
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Even though 2016 came with many painful sudden transitions, I am grateful for the lessons. Through the deep forest when I could not see I learned a new song of deliverance. He preserved me. He composed a symphony over me. And I will march confident into 2017 set high upon a rock with my Father's eyes of power going before me and behind me. You can do the same in Jesus name.
Surrender your story and the sting of situations today and enter the New Year wrapped in the song of deliverance uniquely written long ago. Penned by the author and finisher of your faith.
Happy New Year is a realty when we serve the one who created the oil of gladness.
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