Saturday, December 31, 2016

So Long, 2016

    I would never be one to christen any year "the hardest year of my life". See, the thing is, my life isn't over, and depending on the Lord's will, very possibly won't be for a long time. So I suppose I could say that a year has been the hardest up to this point, or very painful, or exceptionally difficult. However, I still try to refrain from using those terms. Because my thoughts are this: basically, life is just hard.

    As a believer I have Christ, but the world is still sick and sinful, and that is where I am stuck for the time being. This old fallen world will always be full of death and disease, and pain and trials. This year, well it wasn't really any different. Crazy stuff happened, not just to me personally but in the world as a whole. The only thing really going for 2017 at this point is that there is no way that it can be identical to any year we have had before.

    However, as tempting as it is to be defeated by the fact that the chances are 100% that the world is going to continue to need Jesus and act out of desperation and insanity because of that, I as a believer get to have hope. The quote above, from Relient K, has been going through my head for a few days now. It is from their song, "Let It All Out" and since I'm not the writer, I can't really say if he is talking to God or not. However, I keep thinking that in my life, that is what I am saying to God. I want to approach 2017 with a fresh faith, a new hope, to borrow a Star Wars phrase. I can't imagine what 2017 would look like if I went forward as if I couldn't fail, as if all that I do is on Christ's behalf.

    I am tired. I won't blame that on 2016. It is an inanimate object, a period of time that had no control over its contents. I am tired because my faith is weak, because I have allowed circumstances and occurrences to toss me about.

    "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:31-32

  2017 isn't autonomous. But it is fully in God's control. This year has been long, it has been hard. It is no different from any other year this world has ever existed through. January 1, 2017 isn't magical. It won't change anything. But faith in God can. I can choose to make New Year's Day a turning point, a place to mark where I made changes and sharpened my determination and focus to trust Christ for success on His behalf, to have faith that He can work His will through me. I am looking forward to that. I want to trust as if I have never known defeat...

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