Old Truths for The New Year

Over the holidays, I received a message from a loved one that communicated to me how I’ve looked stubborn for my faith in Jesus; it came with an analysis that I’m not honest with myself and do not have the courage to walk away from certain situations that had caused suffering.  I am thankful for that message because it reminded me about why I am where I am today.

You don’t start life out with a plan for things to fail or for suffering to come. You are committed to do your best, you think you are equipped for what is coming, and that there is no reason for things not to work out as you hoped.

How many of you can say that everything always happens as you plan? Or that you can control everything and everyone’s decisions according to how you want? Has every single person you invested in responded in the way that you hoped? Have you been able to control every circumstance regarding your work, health, relationships, finances, disasters?

You can base your choices on your mental analysis (what is most logical?), emotional (what feels best?), cultural (what do others in this situation do?), traditional (what have people done in the past?). Those factors change. Have you ever returned something to the store that you were so sure you wanted when you bought it? That’s the limit of a mental analysis. Have you ever felt madly in love with someone and then later on… blah? That’s the limit of a decision based on what feels good. How has culture changed since the time you were born and now? How have traditions changed over the years? Minds, feelings, culture, traditions change. [I picked these up from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life]

But there is one thing that stays the same: God’s Word. As a criterion for decision making, it doesn’t go to and fro like waves.

I do not find anything dishonest about facing the truth of one’s situation, not running away from it, but seeking God’s perspective on it through His Word and then following His prescribed action plan for it.  (Not that I could have done that on my own… If not for the grace of God, I myself would have turned away from the heat. My constant daily temptation was to find relief and refuge other than the situation God chose for me except He gave me the vision that the temporary band aids are fruitless and in the center of His will (which does not preclude His removal of the source of pain, if that were the very best for my good) is the best place to be. If He’s endeavoring to improve my character, running away from one course will just transfer my lessons to another obstacle course until I learn the lessons.

I do not find anything cowardly about bearing suffering with faith and allowing it to refine you like silver, as God tends you diligently until His reflection is visible on you. An itsy-bitsy sample of remaining in God through the guidance of His Word:

  1. continual lasting healing to the depths of hearts, not stop-gap band aids for cancers
  2. renewal day by day
  3. joy that can’t be stolen  because it is not based on changing circumstances but on the unchanging character of God
  4. release from the power of people to hurt you as the reality of God’s love constantly overpowers it
  5. through Jesus, you become More Than Conqueror over trials that come
  6. the Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness in your life are timeless.

And the beautiful blessing of remaining in God is witnessing His almighty, all-knowing, ever-present hand of grace and faithfulness working big and small miracles in circumstances. Thank You, Faithful Lord!

Yes, it’s a New Year with a promise of a New Life.

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Life is constantly new in Christ! He makes our hearts new! He makes our perspective new to be more like His.

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God makes everything new including our situations. Trials pass. God stays.

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We can not change the past. God doesn’t want us to live in the past we can not change. How sad it is when we let our past keep us prisoner. Been there and done that. God is in the business of doing a new thing that makes the impossible possible.

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2 Corinthians 1:20
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

How can we otherwise anchor our wellness, our identity, security, stability on things that could change or be lost? In those, there is no certainty. But in Him, there is unlimited, unending, immeasurable hope, power, love, grace in an eternal certain future.

I invite you to know and embrace your identity as God’s child through Jesus Christ that you may remain securely anchored on His unchanging love no matter what life dishes out.

John 1:12  Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—

Dear Jesus, I need You.

I Admit I fall short of Your standards of holiness

I Believe You died on the cross for my sins.

I Confess You as my personal Savior and Lord. Come into my heart and help me to be the person You want me to be in Your name, amen.

You are not defined by your mistakes, failures, sorrows, or past.

You are defined by who you are to God…You are His and He is yours.

 

Who Am I? (Casting Crowns)

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
I am yours
I am yours
Whom shall I fear, whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am yours
I am yours

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