Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:2
A verse for the new year, don’t you think? As I look back on 2013, I see God’s hand in all of it. I cannot imagine a day without Him, really, and I don’t want to. This year has been challenging for sure, yet my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. There have been times of scarce resources yet God has provided loaves and fishes. My children have not gone hungry and there has always been a roof over our heads. The Lord is so good.
Kyle started a new job this time last year. He has been on the road for most of 2013 and had a lot of time with His Creator. I have had the privilege of watching God grow and mold him into the husband and father that He intended him to be. The marriage that almost ended has been completely renewed and restored to an even more magical and Spirit-filled marriage, and love for each other is greater than ever. We found a church home and a group of wonderful godly people who love us for us and accept us just the way we are, but love us too much to let us stay content. How amazing when God puts people in your path that actually speak truth to you and help you grow spiritually.
I’ve watched my children grow spiritually through some pretty hard things. But, isn’t that how God works? It’s through the tests and trials that our faith grows and we realize that with God we can do anything. They have seen God do the impossible, too. As much as I would love for their lives to be easy, without hardships and heartaches, their character and faith and relationship with Him grows out of the dark murky soil. I wouldn’t change anything. God is good and all He gives is good. We cannot see the big picture so we don’t see how all these pieces fit together. But God does—and He puts the tapestry of our lives together. I love that I can look back with a smile knowing that He WAS in control; I love that I can step into next year knowing that He IS in control. What would I do differently? Nothing!
So what are my hopes for the new year? For starters, I don’t want to take one step that He does not ordain. And what is the best way to hear what He says about our future? We go to His Word. His promises always come true and His word is more valuable than any amount of money.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me His own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3, verses 12-14
‘Forgetting the past,’ ‘pressing on toward the goal,’ ‘for the prize,’ amazing words! And the prize is the the call on your life—an anointing on your life from your Father.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
You are a new creation, the old has passed! 2013 has passed, there is nothing that can be done about it now. If wrong has been done, then we repent, ask forgiveness and move forward, right? And that is all that is required. We are forgiven. Grace is ours for free! And there’s more…
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and (spring) rivers in the desert.
This is actually our family life verse. He does make a way in the desert—He always has and He always will. When there seems to be no way, He makes a way. He is the way. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Friends, if you don’t know Jesus and you don’t know the way to the Father, please read these Scriptures and pray them back to Him. All you have to do is ask Him to come in to your heart and live forever. Then read His Word and begin the most important and amazing walk of your life.
Last is Isaiah 43:1-28, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.” (Verses 2-5)
He has called you by name and you are His!! Praise the Lord, He will walk in to 2014 with you and you will start fresh. You have an empty slate, a fresh start, a do over, if you will. All your steps are ordained and He will go before you and make a way for you! Oh…how He loves you and can’t wait to do life with you this year. So let’s take a deep breath, and take His hand and step on into the new year….
Let us pray: Dear God, our Father, thank You so much for this past year, for our successes and failures, for our victories and for trials, for keeping us safe and for loving us always. You are an amazing God, and even the rocks cry out to You. You are our Abba Father, our Daddy, we can crawl up in Your lap and forget the world. Thank You for going before us and making a way for us in the wilderness. Thank You for the fresh springs in the desert and for giving us the victory before the trial. Lord, as we walk in to this new year, I pray Your hedge of protection be around us and our families. Provide all we need, Dear Jesus, and keep us close to Your heart. I’m excited to see what;s in store for us this year! For it’s in Your name we pray, amen!