Usually at the end of every year I reflect back on the previous year and focus on how I’ve grown, what God has done in and through me. What was the theme of last year? What can I learn from it?
It’s been a year of surprises no doubt. I wouldn’t have predicted any of it. Not in my wildest dreams! God has done things that were not on my radar. Things have happened also that I’ve had no control over. I’ve had to watch helplessly and trust the Lord, lean on Him all the harder.
It’s been a year of conflicts. Some unavoidable, others perhaps not so much. All not enjoyable.
I guess you could call it an unstable year. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. To be honest I don’t think I’ve finished well. I’m feeling rather battered and soul weary.
Needless to say I’m ready to put this year behind me and begin anew. You know, it’s all how you respond to the troubles of this life. As long as we live here on this earth, we’ll have trouble. It’s inevitable. I could get all down on myself and check it in. Oh I could easily enough, believe me. I’m rather weak, so I’m leaning hard on Jesus, on His strength. He is always faithful to hold me up, dust me off, and send me back out there again.
His wondrous Word speaks to me so many times, and the other day it spoke to me once again. I have my message for the new year. I’m sharing it with you so it may encourage you to continue on regardless of how you ended 2016.
This is what the Eternal Lord has to say.
Eternal One: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will bring people back into your desolate cities, and heaps of rubble will be turned into grand structures.
The wasteland will be plowed and sown—a vast change from the emptiness those passing by are used to seeing. They will be amazed, saying, “This place used to be an empty wasteland. Now it’s like the garden of Eden! The cities were demolished, lying in ruins and completely abandoned. Now they are all restored, strong and full of people!”
Then the nations near you will know that I, the Eternal, am the One who rebuilt and restored the ruined cities and replanted the empty wilderness. I, the Eternal One, promise to do exactly what I’ve said.
Ezekiel 36:33-36 The Voice
Has this past year left you feeling desolate? Like an empty wasteland? Yea, me too. I heard this read on a podcast a week ago and my spirit stirred within me. I felt as if the Lord was speaking directly to me these words.
I’m going to say this in faith, claiming this promise for myself and for those of you stumbling into this new year. This year will be a year of restoration, a replanting. I’m going to thrive and be rebuilt. The Eternal One will do this.
I will allow Him to do a new work within me. Cleanse me of bad attitudes, anger, ugly habits, etc... He will plant new seeds within me. I’m walking into this year with a renewed sense of purpose. He has more for me to do. He has not or will ever give up on me.
Again, it’s all how you respond. I pray that God places within me a great tenacity, ability to persevere. Sun beats down on concrete and makes it harder, it also beats down on a candle and melts it. The sun is still the sun. Let’s allow the challenges to change us and make us stronger.
Don’t you back down and check out!
So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.
We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn. Hebrews 12:1 The Voice
Beloved keep pressing on. He loves you and will not give up on you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
Happy New Year!