Looking Forward

I was sitting here this morning thinking about the coming year, 2019, wow it is hard to believe that another year is gone and we are staring down a new year. I am so very thankful for all of the Lord’s provision over this past year. I am thankful for the laughter, the hugs, the hurt, and even the loss that has happened over this past year. Every moment has made me move closer to the Lord Jesus, every part of me needed him this past year. There were some hurts that I could not have walked through had it not been for Jesus. Every time I needed him he was there, constant and faithful seeing me through. His sweet Holy Spirit teaching me things that I did not know and grounding in things that I had been learning.

God was always with me, not one time did I face anything alone. He was in the great moments full of fun and laughter and he was in the heartbreaking moments that were full of tears. Whenever I felt lonely or even scared, I knew my God was near. The moments when he seemed to wait to help or answer made my faith move. Sometimes my faith took a small step backward until my heart remembered that he has always shown up exactly when I needed him, not a moment too soon or too late, it just felt like it was too late to me. Sometimes growth feels like a stretching until we might break, doesn’t it?

Time and life have not changed as Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, men work, eat, sleep, laugh, make war, hurt, love and so on…we just have different means to do it all. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 ) And with everything that is done the Lord God Almighty is moving and working and having his way in it all. Nothing happens without the Lord’s having already planned it. God is Sovereign over it all, the good, the bad, the ugly is all filtered through his loving hands. If it were not we would not be able to stand it, his mercy and grace are in effect even at the most tragic of moments.

So, as I look forward to 2019 I am excited to see all that the Lord will do. I want to know him more, worship and praise him better. I want to live each day like tomorrow is my last day on earth. I want every moment to count for his kingdom, and oh how I wish he would come back this next year! I realize that getting closer, living nearer his nail pierced feet comes with a price, sometimes a big price. It will make me sacrifice more, love deeper, and maybe even cry harder. I do not know what the future holds, but I am certain of the one holding it. I trust in his unfailing love and his forgiveness without end. I have never walked through anything in this life that Jesus was not with me and did not help me. I can trust his constant presence in my life and the lives of those I love. And let’s face it sometimes it is easier to trust him with us and not trust him with those we love. We do not want them to have to endure any hurt or pain, do we? God knows that and he is just as able to do for them as he does for you. He will grow them at the pace they can follow in the ways he knows is best. So in his hands is the perfect place to leave them!

Jesus is the Way Maker, the Promise Keeper, and our Light. He is all this and so much more. If it were not for him we would be overrun by the worries and hurts of this life. There would not be enough laughter and love to cover them all. But because of Jesus, this life is bearable, even enjoyable and full of his great mercy and love. Ours is a faith walk, we put our hope in him and he does not disappoint.

And as I always try to do I want to leave you with some scriptures to help you on your way, maybe strengthen your faith, but most assuredly guide you to the one who can, who will and who does all that we need and want.
I do not know what this next year holds for you, but I do know the one who holds it and I trust him…will you?

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”

Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 May God himself, the God of peace sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

And lastly:

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; our rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Now that is full of great promises…hold fast to them and may your faith and love for our Lord and Savior grow from day to day. Thank him for what has passed and look forward with anticipation to all that he has for you in the coming year!

Happy New Year!

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