December 28, 2020
As we turn the page on the past year, we can expect to experience change in the year ahead of us. This is a time of great change in the world—technological, economic, religious, political, business, and environmental. The results are seen in governments, organizations, and in the lives of families and individuals.
Although it’s sometimes more evident and easier to recognize and take stock of at the start of a new year, change is actually constantly affecting all spheres of society. Many people, from religious leaders to productivity gurus to life coaches to political leaders, focus on the benefits of change and emphasize flexibility.
Much of the benefit we can derive from the changes that come into our lives depends on how we look at them and whether or not we choose to adapt to change and even embrace it. As always, our attitude is a key factor. Attitude can make the difference between successfully weathering change despite the difficulties it may bring or succumbing to discouragement or despair.
Believing that God can manifest His love through difficult circumstances, and having the faith to see that even tough things can result in good things, is a challenge, but I’ve found that if I can accept that challenge, I’m well on my way to feeling more comfortable and at peace with whatever change or challenge I am facing.
Sometimes God simply can’t bring the good that He wishes to bring into our lives without us passing through some pretty stormy times. So if you’re feeling the waves crashing about you, trust Him and have faith that He knows what He’s doing. He desires only the very best for us.
No matter what storms we may face, God’s Word and our relationship with the Lord are the constants in our lives as Christians. Everything can change in our lives—our circumstances, our health, our relationships, our homes, our jobs, our countries of residence, our ministries—but His Word never fails to guide us and to be an enduring presence in our lives. It is our spiritual ballast, our anchor, our moral and spiritual compass, our lifeblood, our joy, our peace, our hope, our vision, and our comfort. His Word is core to who we are, our beliefs, and our values, and sustains us through all the challenges that we face throughout life.
Your connection with the Lord is a priceless treasure, the pearl of greatest price, something that is of immense value. No one can chart the course of your life and faith for you, or tell you precisely how the Lord wants you to operate and the decisions you need to make in your walk with Him. The Lord wants to accompany you in your personal walk of faith.
Reading about the lives of the great missionaries like Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Mary Slessor, David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, etc., if you didn’t look at their lives through the eyes of faith, you could draw the conclusion that things didn’t turn out so great for them a lot of the time. They suffered incredible hardships, lost loved ones, often operated with very little funding or resources, suffered illness, and in many cases, almost unbearable loneliness. They were willing to face such hardship because they chose to trust in the God factor. They endured “as seeing Him who is invisible.”1
So even if some things in life are unclear to you or just plain don’t make sense, you can trust that the Lord will continue to be your shepherd, guiding you to green pastures and cool waters of His words that will refresh your soul and strengthen you.
If you ever feel like your faith is in crisis, I encourage you to go back to the foundation—Jesus—and find your footing there on the “Rock of Ages.” Ask the Lord to speak to you and give you the answers you seek. Let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth and bring comfort and peace to your heart.
Faith still comes by hearing the Word of God, and the entrance of His Word gives light and understanding.2 These principles are timeless, so a good resolution to make for this New Year is to continue to strengthen and ground your faith through reading His Word and receiving His inspiration, instruction, and guidance for your personal life and walk with Him.
Every year can be a year of growth in the Spirit, growth in outreach, and growth in drawing closer to Jesus, if we commit it all into His safekeeping. His Word encourages you to weather any storms you may be facing, to hang on to hope no matter how big the waves may seem, or how powerful or how swift. If you’ll hold on to Him by faith, He’ll hold you up and prosper you, and take you safely to the destination that He has planned for you.
Just think: He has given us His “exceeding great and precious promises,” through which we can actually partake of His divine nature!3
Think daily on all the gifts of love that He gives you, because He loves you! He loved you enough to give His life for you. He watches over you every moment. He knows your every thought, your every desire, and He always answers in the way that He knows is best and will accomplish His will in your life.
All praise and honor and glory to the one who, in His unfathomable greatness, rules the world in wisdom and righteousness, yet in His marvelous love cares for each of us as if we were the only one in this universe, speaking to us, listening to us, touching us with His compassion, tenderness, and mercy.
He daily loads us with His abundant blessings!4 And in turn, we should be motivated to do all we can to share God’s love and truth with others so they can also partake of His never-ending riches in glory.
Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to keep sharing His Word and truth with others, to keep loving others into His kingdom, and to keep praising Him for His excellent works and lovingkindness!
Compiled from the writings of Maria Fontaine. Adapted and republished
December 2020. Read by Debra Lee.
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