“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV
I would have to say that this has been a year of struggle. Ironically, my life was impacted little out of the norm, as upheaval has been a common theme for me of late. For the many who populate my prayer list, it has been one of the worst years imaginable. We are in the last days of the twenty/twenty and we are about to turn a new page.
In my morning time in the word of God, I encountered an ever familiar Psalm, and I was reminded that I serve a God who is in the midst of my now, who was in my before, preparing me, and will be in the place where I am later.
When David wrote this psalm, he was an old man and was looking back at his faithful God, remembering all that he had been delivered through.
God had been David’s all sufficient Shepherd, Jehovah Raah, giving him all that He needed. He was Jehovah Shalom, bringing peace, He was Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord of righteousness, and so much more.
I have learned in my own journey that God is all that I need.
Brothers and sisters, we have come through a year of extreme turmoil, and the Lord has lead us through it. We have survived through the losses, and can go into the coming year with the knowledge that God goes before us. There is nothing in the future that God is unaware of, and we need not fear.
Retrospection is a blessing for the believer, as we can look back on what God has done, and be reminded that He is unchanging and faithful. I have been reminded of a verse time and time again through this turbulent year:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
He has promised that He will never leave me alone, and will always be there. I can attest that this is true, as I have been given a life that demonstrates His faithfulness.
I have no reserve, but I endure day by day. If I had to provide a theme for all that I have written in the past year, it would be the word “endurance”.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?””
Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV
Even in my profound life of loss, I have contentment, even when all have turned away, I know that Jesus is near. He has been my glorious God, my eternal help, always present.
I have no idea what will happen this coming year. My life has been lived on the razor’s edge, with only the Lord holding me steady. If I should slip, I know that He will catch me and receive me into His Kingdom.
In my heart, I call for the Lord to come and take His people home. Only the Father knows what is to come in the new year. He will be in the midst of it, come blessing or cursing. Resolve this day to look to the Lord, to seek Him with diligence, to live as if He is the priority of your life.
Do not let yourselves be distracted in the new year. Rejoice in your salvation and be faithful to tell others about the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus came to earth, the God/Man, and died for sins on the cross, was buried and rose again. Tell of the newness of life and the power from the Holy Spirit to be free from sin. Tell them that He makes all things new.
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.””
Revelation 21:3-5 NKJV
Auld Lang Syne
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