I have hope as I prepare to enter this New Year. I have hope in a God who understands the struggle and pain; He is with me in the silence and rejoices with me in the joyful explosions of life. Throughout the Bible there is an underlying theme of survival and struggle. People who trust God in the face of persecution, separation and pain; when darkness covers their lives and all seems lost; then wondrously light breaks in with hope. Like Daniel who was saved from the jaws of the lions God intervenes and rescues and we see the hope of God’s faithfulness revealed here and now. But sometimes, hope lies in the future, the promises to come, the miracle in the making, the long journey home is what breaks in and we are given the grace and faith to survive, to let go, stand strong and endure to the end. Much like Steven who suffered stoning for preaching the gospel of Christ and looking towards heaven saw the glory of the promise; all the while, a young man named Saul listened and watched. Sometimes hope surprises us with the bigger picture! You see the young man named Saul who watched the stoning of Stephen; his name was changed to Paul by the Lord. This Paul brought the Gospel to the gentiles and wrote 13 books in the Bible.
This next year holds moments of great joy and great pain, life is fragile, but hope is strong and enduring. For me personally, 2013 was a year of soul refreshing, healing, awakening and freedom. It has been a time of change and that change has come through struggle. I’ve learned that even in the darkest place the flicker of joy remains, the heartbeat of hope continues, and the warmth of love is really there because God is with me.
As you step into 2014 I hope you will remember God’s story is so much bigger than ours and our story is a part of His. Take comfort, have faith, hold on to the promises of God because the Spirit of God is at work in our lives and that gives us a reason to hope!
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
From my heart to yours,