So long, 2018!

So long, 2018!

Happy New Year! I pray 2019 is off to a great start for you!

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. Some beginnings are awesome. Some are not. There is joy we feel at the beginning of a new journey but there can also be joy at a journey’s end. Beginnings and endings aren’t inherently good or bad. They are just the events that move us forward throughout our lives.

What really matters is how we integrate the experiences life brings us. What really matters is whether we allow them to make us better, stronger, wiser people – or allow them to break us down, hold us back …or defeat us all together.

By God’s Grace, we all enjoy beautiful stretches of relative peace, security and good fortune in our lives. And because we are humans in a fragile world fraught with natural disasters and sin, our peace and security is sometimes obliterated by misfortune, disaster, and loss. Putting an “end” to the world as we knew it.

We celebrate New Year’s Eve filled with hope of better things to come. Sometimes we are celebrating the end of a year we couldn’t wait to end because of the terrible things that occurred somewhere between January and December.

We’ve all had some pretty horrendous years. If you haven’t yet… I’m sorry to say, you will.

But consider this. None of it is wasted. All of it matters. The best times and the worst times are all things God uses to make us wiser, stronger, softer, and better able to fulfill His purposes.

In this life, we will endure suffering. There is no Free Pass for Christians unfortunately. The rain falls on all of us, good or bad. (Matt 5:45)

If 2018 was the worst year you’ve ever had (and for MANY people it was), know that God wants to lift you up again. Hold on to Him and let Him see you through whatever dark valley you find yourself in today. Let Him lift you out of the miry muck and set your feet on solid ground again. (Psalm 40:2)

Don’t make the mistake of believing your heartache happened because God doesn’t care about you. That’s a lie straight from the pit of hell. The enemy wants nothing more than to use your disappointment, failure or tragedy to lure you into a dark corner of hopelessness. Don’t let him.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:2-4)

The New Year is a pin in the map of our lives. By all means, mark the spot. But learn to see it as a mile marker on a journey we have yet to complete.

Father God we look to YOU. We humble ourselves before You and acknowledge that You, alone, are God. You know everything and see everything. Our comfort is in remembering You specialize in making all things new. You are the author of the greatest beginnings. Even our endings are in You. Help us to embrace them all. Show us how the hardest things can produce the best in us.

God lead us to pray for one another. Use us to help the hurting. Give us a common prayer and let us seek a common blessing.

We ask it in Your precious Name, Jesus. Amen!

Happy New Year my dear ones. May God make it so!

In His love and service,

Sharon Bollum

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