As I sit down to write and think back as to when this journal entry was written and the uncertainty that was engulfing us, all I can say is “God you are so Good!!” At the time of this journal entry, we were in the process of becoming “unencumbered“. The problem is, we really couldn’t even understand what that meant, never mind how it would play out.
Our mantra for those days was “Faith not fear”, we had to ground ourselves in those words daily if not hourly, and as difficult as those days were, I am so thankful for them. God used those days to mold us and prepare us for where we are today.
Miraculously, the necessary funds always came, other times we were extended great favour from those with the power to do so. Every time we thought we were stripped down, we discovered God had another layer to reveal, more work to be done in our molding process.
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!
2020 has admittedly been a difficult year across the globe. The attacks have felt like they have been coming at us across many fronts.
It is impossible to get through a 24 hour period without hearing the words: Covid, coronavirus, social/ physical distancing, masks, anti-masks … and the list goes on and on.
Politics has been heated and divided, not only in the USA but as a world power, has caused much strife, confusion & concern across the globe.
Friends, I’m not sure where you are and what policies have been implemented in the name of safely, but here in Canada, our Country feels likes it’s been divided into two camps. Those that believe the government is for us and taking care of us, and those that believe our freedoms are being stripped away and separation and isolation are becoming the new norm.
I’m not here to tell you which side of the gap I think you should be on, we each need to make those decisions for ourselves, as we alone are responsible to God for our choices we make in this life.
Here in Canada, particularly my province of Alberta, the government decided another lockdown was in order. This one over Christmas. No family gatherings allowed , even going to the point of encouraging neighbors to report those that would choose to gather.
This brought a whole new level of divisiveness… over Christmas?? How could this even be?? Admittedly I too, struggled with this decision. My hopes and dreams this year were to spend Christmas with my new granddaughter. I met her as a newborn just prior to Covid lockdowns and have not seen her in person since. This just felt cruel and unfair and I felt deep despair and grief at my loss.
Honestly, I allowed myself to wallow there for quite some time, brought to tears numerous times in my grief. Over Christmas how can this even be happening? Admittedly, I was becoming angry at the thought that the government would “take Christmas away from us”.
And it was here in my grief and anger that God opened my eyes to some truths I had never realized. In my minds eye, He showed me Churches over the the last 2000 years that held traditions equal to the Gospel message. He allowed me to see how quickly that action led them astray from the simple beautiful message of Christ coming to save us from our sins… Messiah arriving on earth.
Then He showed me what we, (including me) as a society has done with Christmas. We have allowed our “traditions” to stand equal with the actual meaning of Christmas. As I pondered that thought, my first instinct was to object…”Lord, we always kept you in Christmas”. Which we did, but the realization of the depth of my grief, showed me the truths that I had not recognized.
I was grieving what I could not have, even to the point of complaining that Christmas was being taken away from me. then God in His ever gentle way reminded me that NOTHING could actually take away Christmas. Man could prevent our traditions from happening as we liked…But does this take away Christmas?? Rules and regulations could alter our shopping habits… but does this take away Christmas??
The answer to that is a resounding No!
Let’s go back to the simple gospel message of Christmas. Jesus Christ was born as a baby, to live on this earth so He could conquer sin, bringing us into a right relationship with him, so that one day we would be clothed in His righteousness,and that we could spend eternity with him as His Children.
Christmas is a Birthday celebration of our Lord and Saviour… and nothing on earth can ever take that away from us.
Thank you for opening my eyes to truth. How easily we compromise the day of remembering your birth and reason for that birth… to one day die on a cross for each and every one of us. We know Lord, that family is important to you, so you understand how easily we fall into the trap of our traditions. Forgive me lord, for allowing those traditions to turn into an idol, causing me to put them equal to you. Wherever we are Lord on this Christmas Day, may we be filled with the Love of Christ as the gift of Christ. Thank you for slowing us down and removing the extra packaging so that we could be brought into that place of simple worship for the most important gift we could ever receive.
In Jesus precious name ♥️ Amen
Friends, if you were in anyway struggling like I was, I encourage you to lift your eyes to the heavens, remind yourself that God is still on His throne. What the enemy planned for evil God can use for good.
Merry Christmas…may the Christ of Christmas fill your hearts this season with Joy in what He has done for us .
Blessings , ♥️ Janet
I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I never thought that our world would change so drastically so fast. Going back to New Years Eve of 2020, we didn’t know that within mere months we would live life in a very different way and using a very different vocabulary.
Friends, I am not here to voice my opinion on what is happening in our world, there are too many voices already adding to the chaos and confusion. My goal with this short post is to remind you that God is still on his throne.
Nothing happening today, has left God unaware. In fact if it’s happening… He’s part of it. I’m not saying he’s part of the scheming and confusion that ensues, but He allows the brokenness and oftentimes evil within the hearts of others to fulfill His plans and purposes foretold centuries ago.
We, as Children of the most High.. know that this world is not meant to last forever, it is broken beyond repair. We know that the prince of this world has his time running out and he is frantic to take as many down with him as he can.
So what do we do, in what could feel like a hopeless situation? We recognize that God chose for us to live in such a time as this. Why? because He still has a purpose for us in this broken world. We, my friends are called to be the Light of Jesus to the lost, to bind up the broken hearted and care for those in need.
It’s pretty easy to see that we have a world in need. There are many things that are needed right now… Answers…Truth…Freedom, and although these are ALL good things, I believe what the world needs more than anything else is Love. Remember the old song…”they will know him by our Love”
Then this message came to Zechariah from the Lord: / “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. / Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.Zechariah 7:8-10 NLT
Jesus has given us the way to live in this world, by binding ourselves with him… in thoughts…deeds…and prayer. Be purposeful in your prayers, call out on behalf of the unbelievers, pray for unity within the body of Christ, and pray for how to navigate the challenges before us.
From the days of the prophets to today, the message of how to Love in Jesus name has never altered. Let us be children OF the world but let us not stoop to the actions of those IN the world. We live for an eternal glory not an earthly one… Shine your light from within my friends… shine your light.
” Lord, help me….Be Prepared, but not anxious… Be aware, but not desperate…Be vigilant, but not in fear…Be joyful but not clueless…Be faithful, but not careless…Lord, Be my hope and strength.” Amen [Fr. Goyo Hildago]
Blessings, Janet ❤️Journey4Jesus
Do you know Jesus ? He’s waiting for you… ( click the link to learn more)
Have you ever thought about Jesus words when He said to “take up your cross”? I used to think that taking up my cross meant I was supposed to be accepting specific burdens from God. Yet in reality to take up my cross is actually about surrendering.
I effectively take up my cross when I surrender my plans and my will to God. When I choose to put His ways before my own. When I put my focus onto living my life surrendered to Him following His Word even when it’s difficult.
Take heart my friends… Fear is a Liar. If you have Jesus, you have ALL that you need to navigate the obstacles in this world.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour? We need him now more then ever in this crazy world.
Check out more in my Blog
Blessings ♥️, Janet
When I mention spending time in Gods Word or Reading the Bible, what emotional response does that evoke in you? For myself, it was one of duty and drudgery. I knew as a Christian I should read it, I’d heard the words; “Gods word is alive,” “sharper than a double edged sword“, we were to “hide it in our heart” and heaven forbid…even memorize it.
Obviously, for me there were some issues, and these issues hindered me in my Spiritual growth for a very long time, preventing me from becoming All that God wanted me to become. I remember years ago, I made it my goal to read the Bible cover to cover… and I did, problem was I really didn’t get it… and seriously what was with all the blood?
Do you ever look at life as a gift? Recognizing that you and I are not guaranteed another day? How many times have you prayed when you wake up, “Thank you Lord for the breath in my lungs”?
Sometimes we are so busy doing life, that we forget to be thankful for the very GIFT of life.
My friend, my challenge for you today is to see God in the everyday things; from the very breath that we so easily take for granted, to our hearts pumping the right amount of blood through our system enabling everything in our bodies to work together effectively,
Why does He do this for us? So that our very life brings Him Glory, not just what we do and achieve but who we are IN Him. So I encourage you to marvel at this gift of life, to live well not leaving anything in life undone…after all, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
For more encouragement check out my website www.journey4jesus.com
Blessings, Janet ❤️. Do you know Jesus?
It’s such a unique opportunity to be able to look backwards through the lens of time, and see how God has answered those difficult questions that we wrestled so deeply with 2 1/2 years earlier. When I wrote these words in my prayer journal, they were simply raw emotions as I watched everything around me crumble.
I had no idea what God had planned for us, yet in the scariest and most uncertain times of our life, we truly sensed He was doing something.
As like so many believers, we were really good at coasting along. We Loved God, we loved our Salvation through Christ, we were very thankful for the gift of Grace, because we definitely knew how much we needed that… Yet, we were not “Living” for Christ.
Those words used to sound too Holy. Only Pastors & missionaries really lived FOR Jesus. The rest of us just tried to do our best managing life in this world without being too terrible. Don’t get me wrong, we loved our Church and we loved serving Jesus in prayer ministry, I even began to love reading His Word, and continually wanted to learn more, but Living for Christ… that was a different ball game all together.
Just a note of encouragement to my faithful Blog followers; The world often looks dark when we focus onto the dark, yet when we recognize that we, as Children of Jesus, reflect the light of the Father, we don’t have to fear the dark, because we can BE the Light in the darkness.
Walk through the day with your head held high, projecting the Light and the Love of the Father to those He places in your path today my friends. See you soon…
Blessings, Janet ❤️