As we come to the close of a very eventful year on many fronts in our Nation, I see the need for an ever increasing urgency to establish a strong faith in God – to know and love His precepts and to pursue intimacy and trust in One, Who yet unseen, is closer than a brother. That we as a Nation would diligently seek HIS wisdom and direction, rather than fallible and futile options of man’s wisdom which lead to unwise decisions, regret, disappointment – even death and destruction. More than ever, we need a secure haven from the storms of life. That haven is God’s immutable Word. It is the ONLY solution to the issues that concern us and will hold us steady, no matter what comes.
Hebrews 6:18-19 (Amp) says, ‘…by two unchangeable things, (His promise and His oath) in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled to Him for refuge might have MIGHTY INDWELLING STRENGTH AND STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT to GRASP and HOLD FAST the HOPE APPOINTED FOR US and set before us. We have this hope as a SURE AND STEADFAST ANCHOR OF THE SOUL, (our mind, will and emotions), IT CANNOT SLIP AND IT CANNOT BREAK DOWN UNDER WHOEVER STEPS OUT UPON IT…..’
I feel to speak directly and specifically right now to those precious people facing all kinds of challenges at this present moment – financial pressures, grief, health issues and family conflicts and those facing the possibility of being forced to pursue a new career path, some even in their later years. God LOVES you, He is with you, you are not alone, put your trust in Him, come to know Him intimately through His precious life giving Word and BELIEVE! He longs to speak gently and tenderly to your heart regarding your situation, He will not abandon you, He will NOT leave you or forsake you!
Hebrews 13:5-6 (Amp) ‘Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money (including greed, avarice, lust and craving for earthly possessions) and be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have); for He (God) Himself has said, I WILL NOT IN ANY WAY FAIL YOU NOR GIVE YOU UP NOR LEAVE YOU WITHOUT SUPPORT. I will not, I will not, I WILL NOT in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down, (relax my hold on you)! ASSUREDLY NOT! So we take comfort and are encouraged and CONFIDENTLY and BOLDLY SAY, the LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT BE SEIZED WITH ALARM (I will not fear or dread or be terrified), what can man do to me?’ My dear friends I have personally stood on the promise of this amazing scripture many times in the hard places, and God has NEVER let me down! Yes, it will sometimes seem like the 11th hour when the solution comes, but I have learned to trust that HIS TIMING is always perfect.
To those experiencing financial difficulties and don’t know which way to turn, HOLD ON! Anchor your hope in Christ Jesus. I do not speak lightly, but as one who has not only survived bankruptcy, family breakdown, bushfires and floods and market fluctuations, but found deep inner peace and fulfillment in life. I know your angst! I do not make light of this, but it is only a season, it too, shall pass.
There may be some who feel you have walked too far away from God to ever be redeemable, you’re suffering from depression, bitterness, regret and have no peace. If mental torment and ‘action replays’ of former misdemeanors haunt you, don’t stuff them down! Run TO God not away from Him. Find a quiet place and a quiet moment. Humble yourself, open up your heart to Him and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. His Word says, ‘He is faithful and just to forgive us from ALL unrighteousness’.
To those recovering from illness, I pray you would experience the wondrous healing power of God diffuse through your entire being, bringing wholeness and restored vitality and strength.
To those facing marital and family challenges at this time, I pray the comfort and wisdom of God will be your portion. May He lead and guide you into all Truth. Even some are contemplating divorce as a solution. It is not the answer! The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence! Maybe today you could take some ‘quiet time’, CHOOSE to allow God to soften your heart toward your mate, (BY GOD’S GRACE), His enabling, begin to make a list of all the GOOD qualities and the happy fulfilling times you’ve experienced together. Count your blessings! (So often we only focus on the negatives). Whatever we focus on, that is what we become. Why not begin to focus on the good things, the admirable things, ‘anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (fix your minds on them)’ (Philippians 4:8) .We are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world, we are bound to disappoint one another along the way. CHOOSE to allow forgiveness to flow freely and generously. FORGIVENESS is a CHOICE, then an ACTION, and the FEELINGS WILL FOLLOW! One of the most profound keys I have learnt is that blessing follows obedience to God’s Word and brings peace and joy to our heart. The more it costs us in ‘death to self’, the greater the joy!
My heart goes out to those who have suffered deep grief and loss this year. Grief comes in many forms, loss of a loved one, loss of a long and dearly held dream or ambition, job loss, forced relocation. The area of loss of occupation is an area that particularly hits at the heart of a man. Without a strong undergirding faith in God, his entire life, his identity and his sense of ‘self worth’ is tied up in what he does. I pray as wives, we would recognize and be sensitive to the vulnerability of our husbands at these times. (I have seen so many turnarounds in situations like this where I have walked through with folks in prayer). To those I pray you may experience the tangible Presence of God to comfort you – that you many truly know that ‘Underneath are the everlasting arms to uphold you’. (Deut 33:27)
As we approach this Christmas season, and the end of yet another year, may we all take time to give thanks for the year past, to reflect upon the goodness of God, ALL THE GOOD THINGS, how despite the many challenges of life He has brought us through.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace and new hope and expectancy for the good things to come.