Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – A Devotion on “A New Year”
As we say good-bye to 2020 and welcome a new year, it’s good to reflect upon the lessons we have learned and thank God for the blessings He has provided.
Although this year has been challenging and many of us have been greatly shaken, the goodness of God is ever-present. We may need to dig deeper to identify our blessings, but they are certainly there. Our Lord gives good gifts in every season of life.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)
“ Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2 (NKJV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)
Who would have guessed 2020 would knock us sideways? There were so many changes to our everyday life and it all happened so quickly. The Corona Virus hit and suddenly people were wearing masks like every day was Halloween. Social distancing became a popular phrase. A shortage of toilet paper was a surprise and so was the lack of other products like eggs and hand sanitizer. But we pushed through. We adapted.
The blessings that have come out of this pandemic are incredible. Parents now have a greater appreciation for educators. Medical workers are true heroes. Family dinners and time spent together grew deeper bonds of love. Neighbors reached out, helped, and checked on each other. An awareness that church gatherings are essential inspired days of communal prayer and a new fortitude to fight for religious freedom. I could go on and on, but I challenge you to take a moment to reflect and add to this list.
Yes, many folks lost jobs, homes, their health, loved ones, and dreams. Government officials showed their true colors, deception and wickedness became evident, and many of us were overwhelmed by all the changes and new revelations. But friend… GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. God has a plan. It may not be our plan, but it’s a good one because we serve a GOOD GOD! We need to pray for and fight for God’s purposes. We need to love, serve, and continue to glorify God. The devil wants to rob us of hope, and we can’t let that happen. Our God is a God of hope!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
“ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
I can’t predict the exact details of what we’ll encounter in 2021. I’m sure there will be new obstacles to overcome and more trials to face. But, we can’t let future difficulties rob us of hope. God has equipped us to live in these days. He knit us together and determined this time for our lives to touch others for His glory. If we have become entangled in this world, we need to let go and remember our citizenship is in heaven. Heaven is where our reward lies. Heaven is where there are no more tears and no more good-byes. Heaven is where sin departs, and purity resides. Heaven is our future and Jesus is our hope.
Let this knowledge uplift and carry you through the days ahead. Be bold and stouthearted! Fight the good fight. Encourage one another and rest in the peace that transcends all understanding. Pray for each other. Although 2021 may appear to be dark, the LIGHT OF THE WORLD is in control and we need not fear, for He is our strong tower and mighty counselor. Amen!
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)