Happy New Year Friends! I pray this past week has been filled will blessings for you and your loved ones!
2018: a new year, a new start, a new and long awaited change. For many, a new year brings about a hope for newness in their life. I have spent many a moment reflecting on the meaning and purpose and blessing that ‘hope’ is in one’s life. For some, hope is just filled with question marks and a feeling of defeat. For example, now is a popular time for people to start a new fitness schedule or diet in hopes of becoming more healthy. Others may hope for an engagement or a particular job or retirement or a positive diagnosis or…and the list goes on and on. However, hope doesn’t have to be endured with the uncertainty of the unknown and the expected sadness of defeat. Hope can be enjoyed with anticipation and trust, and the thankfulness of the high one feels during the process of attaining a long awaited goal.
I enter ‘hope’ with such joy now, but it was a lesson I needed to learn. Top up your coffee, and I will share…
Happy Hope-filled New Year!
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! …For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Matthew 25: 21..29
…We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,who has been given to us. Romans 5:3b-5
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
When my husband and I, while engaged, were looking for our first home together, we viewed an apartment that was absolutely perfect. I loved it! We filled out the application with such great hope and anticipation that we would get this lovely little residence as our home. I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to bless us with this apartment. After waiting to hear from the landlord, for what seemed like eternity, we were told we didn’t get it. I was crushed, to say the least. Rick encouraged me to trust that God had a better place for us in mind, but I couldn’t see how there could be any place more perfect. However, I believed that God had heard my prayers and that he was faithful in answering prayers. It was the first time I began to think that maybe I don’t know what’s best for me. In any case, we continued to look and look and look. Finally, we came across one in an even better location for us, at an even better price, and, by the grace of God, this wonderful little apartment became our first home.
After we were settled into our new little home as Mr. and Mrs., I couldn’t help but reflect over the whole process that we went through to find this perfect little place. Although there was a great let down following the rejection of that first apartment, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that God guided us to a place even better. Had we took that first place I had fallen in love with, we would have never known about, nor experienced, the wonderful home and memories in our beautiful, little apartment that worked perfectly for us. Also, I reflected on the days of joy-filled anticipation while we awaited the news of acceptance. Yes, the rejection was sad, but the days of anticipation leading up to that was exhilarating. The whole journey, with its highs and lows, knowns and unknowns, became an opportunity to dance with God as he led and we followed. He knew what we needed even more than we did, and we took the whole process to him in prayer. We learned that God is faithful, whatever the end result.
Over the years, I have experienced the let down of certain things that I have put my hope in, but I have also come to thoroughly enjoy the ‘high’ I feel while anticipating the outcome and the length of time that passes while in that feeling of euphoria which only brings me closer to God’s final outcome. Following that ‘high’ if the hope doesn’t become a reality and I must begin the search all over, I have come to trust that God is continuing to mold me and guide me to something better. I have learned that I do not necessarily know what is best for me, but God does. I can move forward but if God closes a door, I trust it is for my own good and the good of my family, and we will be where we need to be according to his will for our lives. He loves to bless his children, and bless them abundantly.
For God, it is not the outcome he desires from us, it is our relationship and trust in him that he cares about; it is the trusting him, learning from him, seeking him, that he loves, and it just so happens he continues to enjoy your company and obedience and trust by bestowing blessings. I have heard it said, and believe it to be true, that ‘you cannot out give the Lord.’ In other words, the more you sincerely, truly give your life to him, he will bestow greater things to you. It is like the parable with the words of the master to his servants, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! …For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 25: 21..29)
With all things we hope for, there is a process, and I have come to see this process as a blessing, as well as, a time where my life is fully in God’s hands and the final outcome is his call. I cannot depend or trust in my emotions or try to manipulate the circumstances, as I walk forward through the doors he opens. Eventually, I will be where I need to be and it will be good. No questions! No regrets! Not to mention that no matter what happens, I know that he has already taken care of the final goal of my life – a life with him for eternity, and that is a hope of complete certainty!
May your year ahead be one of complete trust and desire to seek Him and his ways.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You know me better than I know myself. In all that lies ahead this year, help me to trust you to guide me to where you need me to be. You know my hearts desires and I lay them before you. Thank-you for your faithfulness and grant me the patience to walk humbly by your side as you answer my prayers and lead me, even if it means you are calling me home to you. Help me to do this with all certainty and assurance! In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!
Reflection: May your resolution be to try to ‘out give’ the Lord. Try it. I dare you!
Happy New Year..
May God’s grace and peace be yours today and throughout 2018!