This article will appear in the Fellowship of Global Christian Job Seekers January 2014 newsletter under "Carolyn's Perspective"
Another year has flown by. Another holiday season has come and gone. So here we go again. Another New Year. Hopefully, as believers, we can think about the future with hope while at the same time assessing realistically questions like these:
• What have we learned?
• What have we accomplished?
• How have we grown?
• How have we been stretched?
• How has our faith increased?
• How have we grown closer to the Lord?
To tell you the truth this past year has been full of challenges for me, especially during the holiday season. For some reason, anxiety and depression plague many of us during the time of holiday festivities and gift exchanges, and this has been the case for me. I have needed very much to rely on God, and I have needed my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Life Doesn’t Get Any Easier But Christ Gives Us His Presence
One thing is for sure. Life doesn’t get any easier. Nobody said it would. But let’s look at what God has promised. First of all, He promised that in this world we would have tribulation (John 16:33). We might not want to think of that as our favorite promise in the promise box, but let’s be honest. That is ground zero for everybody, but for the believer, we know that He has overcome the world!
Jesus became flesh and dwelled among us and paid the price for our sins by becoming the Lamb of God, once and for all canceling the debt of sin every one of us owed. Then He rose again from the dead and is returning for us. And for everyone who has been born again we have the promise of His presence with us forever in this life and the next. That’s pretty amazing.
New Year’s Resolutions?
Personally, I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. If you like them go ahead and make your list, but I’m not going to make a list. Looking back at those questions with the bullet points above, I hope to be able to say that I have learned more about the faithfulness of our God. Maybe I haven’t accomplished a great deal. But I hope I’ve grown some.
I know that I have been stretched, my faith has increased and I have grown closer to the Lord. For the New Year I just want more of that. I want to keep on learning, I want to accomplish more, continue growing, being stretched, increasing my faith and growing closer to the Lord. And in order to do that, I know I’m going to have more tribulation. That just comes with the territory.
Tribulation Comes With the Territory
Tribulation comes with the territory whether or not you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, but how great it is to know God and to have Him in the midst of our tribulation, to have Him in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). I believe that there’s coming a time when the world is going to sit up and take notice that the children of God are shining like lights in an ever darkening world.
Happy New Year! Be encouraged and keep seeking God!