This has been a year worth remembering. For many, it’s a year that they want to see come to a swift and painful demise. So many people have been saying lately that 2016 was worthless, awful, and just plain nasty. I ask that you take a look at it again and consider what the Lord has done for you this year. Yes, many bad things have happened, but there was also plenty of good. I bet that if you look through your day planner and see all of the things that you did this year, you will find some truly good moments. I just did that myself and was able to find typically 2 to 3 wonderful memories attached to each month! I know that my memories or happy moments really mean nothing to you in the grand scheme of things, but I’m certain that if you try, even a little, you can pull some good memories of your own from the past year and be thankful for 2016. Maybe you lost your job, then ended up in a better one. Perhaps your child was sick and you saw God’s mighty hand of provision in your life. Maybe a toxic relationship soured and ended; the sadness was immense, but the poison is now gone.
The point that I’m trying to make is this: it’s so easy to look at situations in our life that didn’t go the way we wanted them to go, and only see defeat, despair, and depression. I’m here to challenge you to go above and beyond looking at things in a negative light, to try to look for the good in every situation. I’ll be the first to admit that this is often DIFFICULT. I am not here to give you the fairy-tale land, pie-in-the-sky version of life, but to ask you to honestly view things through the lens of God’s grace to you. Did He promise you an easy life? On the contrary, He warned us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God has not promised us a rosy life, but He has promised that He will be with us every step of our journey. Hebrews 13:5-6 says,
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
And again in Psalm 139:7 we are reminded that even if we were to try, we could not escape God’s presence!
7 “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
God’s presence is always with us. His comfort, peace, hope, joy, and love are ALWAYS available and within our grasp. There is no pain so deep that He cannot heal. There is no tragedy so overwhelming that He throws His hands up hopelessly, wondering where to turn. He is ALL.
ALL we need
ALL we hope for
ALL that really matters in life
ALL the security our heart longs for
Let Him be your ALL today. I realize that most of my audience is made up of people that already know this, so let this serve as a loving reminder to place your focus on the Lord. Heed His voice to come away and find time to spend being refreshed in His presence. Seek out the good in your circumstances. Look for the many ways He has blessed you personally. All around you chaos, confusion, despair, and hopelessness may threaten to engulf you. Remember the TRUTH. The truth is this: God will NEVER leave you. He created you for a purpose. He is bigger than whatever threatens to consume you. He is more than enough. Draw close to Him. James 4:8 says,
8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
And also Jeremiah 32:27
27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
That’s all I have for you today. May God richly bless you as you continue to lean into Him. He’s got this!