As a dear friend would say, with God, there’s never a bad day. Is that a realistic statement? Well, I happen to agree and will take it a step further. With God, there’s never a bad year! I may be odd, but I don’t look at a new year as a clean slate or a fresh start. They’re simply not needed. Every day with God is fresh and new!
My 2022 included the unexpected losses of my mother and a brother-in-law, as well as the expected passing of my father-in-law. Their deaths were caused by cancer, and I was close to each of them. The year depleted our retirement accounts and increased our living expenses. Our children, who live on their own, faced rising costs with little ability to absorb them. The same is true for elderly friends and family members who were already burdened by loss.
In 2022, we’ve witnessed the horrors of a senseless war from afar and felt its effects at home. We watched the Earth’s weather transform and threaten a world that may soon be unfamiliar to us. These issues are tragic in many aspects.
But my hope lies in something greater than the whims of powerful men, good health, a changing world, or financial security. My hope lies in God. In fact, my faith claims it as knowledge, rather than hope. I trust God and His will, regardless of what I see and experience. It is this trust that gives me peace when tough things happen to me.
I’m certainly not challenging 2023 to bring me trouble, by any means, but through the difficulties of my past, I’ve learned the value of relationship with God. Connection with Him is a treasure greater than any earthly thing, and this relationship costs me nothing, because He already paid for it.
However, I’ve realized that there are so many others hurting who need the peace of our Lord as I’ve been able to experience! With all the trauma in the world, near and far, the impacts are felt everywhere. Depression, suicidal tendencies, hopelessness, and fear are powerful. We are weary and angry. But the Spirit of God is moving!
Let me assure you, no matter what you face, God is present and available. When we call upon Him, He’s able to touch our lives and lift us up from the pain. This does not mean that difficulties disappear and life becomes easy sailing forevermore, but relationship with Him fills us with a sense of understanding, a depth of acceptance, and a wisdom beyond our own.
When God is at the center of us, we can look at what is going on around us and see that He is not absent. His wisdom shows us that He truly is ruler over all. Trusting Him imparts a sense of peace and calm when difficulties arise.
Whenever you feel a sense of overwhelm, remember to turn your full attention back toward God and let His Spirit calm you. Return to the arms of One Who knows all and Whose will is at hand. Talk with Him! Focus on Him, not your circumstances, and let that holy communion push out fear.
When the next year comes to an end and a new year’s threshold is before you, perhaps you will look back and recognize that a fresh start isn’t necessary. Maybe you’ll sense the renewal of your mind, the peace that transforms, and the hope that brings joy each and every day.
When we live connected to the mighty One, there is never a bad year.
Get to know my friend who I quoted in the above message, Pastor Richard Lotany Chulu. Click to go to his Facebook page.
For another video message of encouragement from me, click Suicidal Tendencies.