Another New Year…
We enter into 2012... Each New Year we expect great things and are sometimes (let’s be honest... we are often or always) disappointed. What does ‘expecting great things’ even look like? I think it's the reason we so often feel let down.
We live in dire times with positive thinking and the prosperity gospel predominant in many of the ‘Christian’ teachings we listen to. …So you think, there you are…or become, or something like that!!! Is that really biblical? Can we really change our own world and the circumstances around us by 'thinking' them into existence? You don't really believe that do you?
What about trials and tribulations? You know… struggles? It's what we all face; none of us are immune... Yet we go through life when these things happen to us or close to us, and behave as though we have been betrayed…let down…forsaken. I’m not trying to diminish the difficulties that anyone is going through; we all go through these times. And when we go through them, we are always surprised. Why are we surprised? Jesus told us we would have them... and HE beautifully encourages us by saying ‘But take heart, I have overcome the world…’ Don’t those words bring tears to your eyes? They do mine. Do you feel overwhelmingly encouraged and lifted up by those words? I do. These words help me breathe... they keep me going when I feel that I can't go on anymore.
We learn in Romans 8:28 that God is working all things together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes… This is another verse that brings tears to my eyes. If you belong to Him. If you are called according to His purposes... Then you can rest assured or ‘Take Heart’, because Jesus has overcome this evil world. You can also know without a doubt that God is working all things together for your good and His Glory. The child of God wants to see Him Glorified... that is one of the reasons we are still here on earth… Isn’t it? That and the great commission... When Salvation happens, HE is Glorified. How can He be Glorified if His followers are moping around all the time complaining how rough their life is? Why should people listen to you talk about His Salvation when through your bad times you want to give up? How would it be, if through your bad times, you continued in trust in Him, and actually had your faith strengthened? It doesn't matter if you don't see answered prayer right away...because you know that you know that you know that God is already working it out. That's trust. That's faith. The result is a Joyful life... It's a life that people who don't know Jesus would want for themselves. I think it would at least make them curious... What do you have that they don't have?
Sure… there may be times when we question where God is…that happens usually because we have wondered off and gone our own way. Or, we have somehow done something to grieve the Holy Spirit…or we have not been studying scripture…maybe we have stopped in Christian fellowship so we feel disconnected. Do we have any unrepentant sin in our lives? I’ve had those times… and God softly speaks to me and reassures me that He has always been there; He comforts me with His peace, and surrounds me with His Love... Why did it take me so long? Why did I get so discouraged? Greater is He who is in me, than He who is in the world... Do we really believe that? Sometimes we can tend to make our faith all about ourselves rather than about the One who has saved us.
One day, God will wipe every tear from your eyes, and take away all the pain and suffering that you have had on this earth.
So... what about the Greater Things? God’s Greater Things and our greater things are two very different things. Which one do you choose? Don’t forget to count the cost.
2012 is really no different from any other year. Nothing magically changes at midnight on the 31st of December. A change of Attitude can happen at any time….we don’t need a New Year for that. We don’t need to think it into existence by positively ‘expecting’ that it will be better. That simply doesn’t work, and it actually causes a lot of harm. What does work?
I’ve learned to ask the question ‘What is God up to in this?’... Because He is always working.
The simple prayer... ‘Your will not mine Lord. I trust You, and I have faith you are working. That’s good enough for me.’