As I sit on this last day of the year and reflect upon a new year beginning tonight at midnight, I feel a sense of awe… God where are you taking us? What is around the next corner? Suddenly, in the quiet of my mind I sense His presence… reminding me that I have no need to fear, all is going according to the plans that He has set into motion from the beginning of time.
Bible verses with significant messages begin to swirl through my mind: “who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” Matthew 8:27. “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!”. Jeremiah 32:17, and so many more reminding me of the sovereignty of God over this world. Check out more strengthening verses here.
In the Lords gentle way, He reminded me and reaffirmed in my mind, that WE, his children were created for such a time as this. Just as we recall the deeds of our heroes of both the Old & NewTestaments of Gods Word, that stood for their faith in the midst of fear and/or loss of life: Abram, who left his entire family to follow a God his people did not know to a new land, completely unknown to himself. Esther who had to approach the king without being summoned, David who hid in caves refusing to kill Gods anointed, trusting God’s timing rather than his own. The disciples crowded in an upper room trying to understand the past 3 years of their life and watching their saviour killed on a cross. Saul who went from killing Christians to writing the majority of the New Testament… ALL of these were born for such a time.
I believe that we too, are born into a place of history that God had planned before we were even in the womb. “you saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16… what an incredible life changing concept to understand. Nothing is happening that God is unaware of, everything man sets in motion has already been ordained by God our creator.
As we look forward with anticipation at the coming of a New Year, we may be hopeful that all the bad is behind us, everything will start looking bright and prosperous again. But, what if it doesn’t? What if Gods plans are different than our hopes, how will we, as Children of the almighty God respond?
Thankfully God gave us all of the answers we need inside His Word. He has told us that this world is not forever, that a time of great distress and heartache would come. We were told to watch the signs, just as the fig tree prepares for a coming season, so does the Lord. He has shown us through His Word, that we do not need to fear, but we need to be prepared to serve in ALL situations.
Three verses in Hebrews 10, sum up so beautifully how we are to live in these times regardless of what the world throws at us. vs. 23 states; “ Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Let those words sink in like a drink of living water.” God can be trusted! Amen and thank you Father.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” vs. 24. These are the things that we can do for one another, leading others to Christ that do not know him, and affirming those in Christ that are living in fear.
Finally, vs. 25, I believe is equally as important in a time such as this; “And let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” I understand this verse will be very controversial in the day we currently live in, but the Lord was very clear in what He instructed Paul to write for His children.
All through the centuries Christ followers have been targeted, many times having to go underground and meet secretly, even at risk of imprisonment and/or death, why would they risk this? Because they knew the importance of these Words. The enemy is working to divide and weaken the Church (the people of Christ)…
To be strong we need to be together.
To be effective we need to be together.
To serve a broken and hurting world we need to be together.
This is exactly the reason the enemy of the Church, wants to keep us apart. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that we need to disregard everything at the detriment of your health or someone else’s, but we need to prayerfully find ways to meet, encourage and strengthen each other, and be the light in this dark world… Jesus is returning soon, and He wants none to be lost… He has chosen to use US, His adopted children in such a time as this.
“A Frightened world needs a FEARLESS CHURCH”.
Let me encourage you my friends as we head into unchartered territory this new year. Rather than grieving what has changed, and yes although there is much worth grieving, shift your focus to where we are in the history of this world… could it be that Jesus is returning soon? No one but the Father knows the date, but we are told to keep watch, and be prepared.
Let’s move into this new year with a heart of preparedness. Let’s choose to be the church that God created and called us all to be. Let’s move forward intentionally and without fear, trusting the One who created us exactly for this time.
Thank you for creating us for such a time as this! Lord, we recognize that You are in control, that nothing is too hard for You… Praise you Jesus! Forgive us Lord, when we hang on too closely to the world, you have called us to be IN the world but not OF the world. Teach us Father how to live in this new year with all the changes that come our way. Give us wisdom Lord, to encourage and strengthen each other, to find ways to serve those that don’t know you and lead those within our circle of influence to You, as You want none to be lost. Open our eyes to the signs Lord of Your return, help us to be watching, ready and engaged, serving You in these days. Help us to have the courage to trust in Your Word Father, to meet together and Trust in Your plan for Your Children (who is the church). Thank you that this past year is behind us, and a new year is approaching… May we be Your light in this dark world Father.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
Friends, may this New Year be an opportunity for us to live the life that Christ called us to lIve. From my family to yours… HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Janet, thank you for this very encouraging – and thought-provoking reminder. I have to admit that “going into all the world” has been something I’ve been thinking about A LOT lately – and wondering how to make that (i.e. witnessing to others) possible in light of isolating. Does that mean using the phone more? Does that mean sending emails? That doesn’t feel like connecting to me – although it can be very useful and beneficial – it still feels like a distant form of communication. Perhaps this is the time for me to spend more/different time with God in prayer??
Hey Connie, I apologize for my late reply. Those are important issues to struggle with, and like you, I grapple with them regularly. I believe God first gives us a desire and a heart, then as we grapple and reach out seeking honest answers from him, he will show us how we are to surrender to His plans. Sometimes we are definitely the light simply by reaching out. You were a light to me and an encouragement that God is at work through my writings ♥️. You never know how many people you can be a positive light for, ask God to open the doors and simply help you to be obedient to respond… especially when it doesn’t make sense. Holding you up my friend and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts ♥️🙏🏼