A Countdown to a New Year


new year

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:13-16

Christmas day has come and gone. The tree that was once filled to capacity with presents of all shapes and sizes now stands empty. All the wrapping paper has hopefully found its way to the trash. The feast that was enjoyed with family and friends yesterday is now tucked away as left overs.  So now what?

For many of us these next few days will turn into a time of resolutions. We will begin to think of the many new year’s resolutions we would like to make. Some of us will plan to lose weight, others will plan to save money. Some of us may even resolve to find a new job or seek out a new position at work.

How many of the new year’s resolutions that are made will be kept? How many of them will start out with a bang only to fizzle out within just a few hours?

Please understand, I have no problem with setting new year’s resolutions. I do it every year. What I want us to think about today, however, is the type of resolutions we set.

As you recover this week from mounds of turkey and dressing, as you ladies get your houses back in order after droves of company, as you men put away your tools from countless hours of putting toys together, let us begin to focus on reasonable resolutions for the new year.

The verse that I used today tells us that we should seek the Lord’s will. How much better do you think our new year’s resolutions would go if we took the time this week to seek God’s will?

I have a challenge for you and me. I would like to challenge you to take some time this week, as you plan for a new year, and get alone with God. Seek out His will for your new year. Ask God what He would like to do through you in 2014.

My favorite Scripture verse is Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

As we prepare for a new year, let us seek out God’s will for our lives. While we are standing on this side of 2014 wondering what it will hold for us, God is standing on the other side and he already knows what lies ahead. Knowing this brings much more comfort to my heart than any resolution that I could plan on my own.

I pray you had a very blessed Christmas. I pray that as you prepare for a new year that you will allow God to lead you. Seek His will for your life as you begin to make your new year’s resolutions. God bless you.

Pray Through


Pray

” So He left them,

went away again,

and prayed the third time,

saying the same words.”

Matthew 26:44

Monday I posted an entry entitled “It Is Okay.”  The message in that post was that it is okay not to be okay. There are times when we say we are okay, but truly in our hearts we are broken and torn. This week, after posting that blog, the question has been ringing in my ears, “What do you do when you are not okay?” So today that is what I want to discuss. If you have not read Monday’s entry, feel free to do so now and then you can come back and pick up here.

There are many times in our lives when we are not okay. Somehow we find ourselves in a situation that we just can not seem to handle. We find ourselves torn, broken, and helpless. As I have pondered this situation this week, and have even found myself in a bit of one as well, I have struggled with how I should handle it. I have prayed about it, cried over it, and prayed some more, but have yet to find any resolve.

The question I want us to consider today is this: “What do we do when we are not okay?”

Here is the answer I believe God has given to me:

“Pray through.”

“Hmm,” you might say. “That is it?”

I know, it seems so simple, does it not?

Let us think about this for a moment. Do we really understand what this means?

I would like to share with you what God has been speaking to me concerning this answer. I pray that it will speak to you as well and that you will find some comfort in it.

Pray it through. I believe this is exactly what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. If you go back and read the verses that come before the one I shared this morning you will find that Jesus has actually gone back to pray two other times. (Matthew 26:36-43)

I can not imagine the situation that Jesus was facing and the anguish that he must have been feeling. Jesus knew what was to come and He knew that it had to be done, yet He still struggled as a man.

In Jesus’ prayer to His father, He asked for two things. First, He asked that if there was any other way to accomplish the goal to let it be. The second thing Jesus prayed, I believe was the most important. Jesus told His father, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

Each time Jesus went to pray, the Bible says that His prayer was for exactly this: The will of His Father.

Three times Jesus went to pray, and then comes the beginning of God’s will for His Son.

I believe that Jesus did exactly what we have been discussing here this morning; He prayed through. After praying again and again He knew the will of His father, and He was willing to accept it.

This is what God has been speaking to me this week:Pray it through, let your request be made known unto Me, and then accept My will.

When you are facing trials and trouble, Pray it through. Seek God and cry out to Him. Tell God how you feel ( He already knows anyway) and ultimately, seek the will of the Father.

Sometimes God may allow the cup to pass from you, and other times you may have to drink from that cup. Be assured, however, whatever the outcome, God has promised to never leave nor forsake us. God will be faithful to His promise.

No matter what you are facing today, God knows, He cares, and He will be faithful to carry you through.

I pray that this has encouraged your heart today.

Life is full of trials and storms, but we can find comfort in the fact that we know who holds tomorrow. Life is no mystery to God. There are no surprises for Him.

Please remember: No matter what situation we are facing today or in the future, we must pray through.