Sunday, January 3, 2016

be of good cheer.

it’s the beginning of a new year.
and with it.. comes new hope,
new expectations, resolutions, goals, intentions.
we stop and reflect on what the past 365 days have brought, and purpose to work harder and do better and make our fresh, empty calendars full of only the good—for some that means doing less, for some that means doing more.

and don’t get me wrong, there’s wisdom in stopping and reflecting and pausing—asking God where we’re at and where He wants to bring us in this next season.
and there’s reason to refocus and regroup and recharge—resetting our goals and reorganizing our priorities all in realigning with His Word and heart for us.

but as we step into this next year, hopeful and expectant, purposeful and well-intentioned..

the Lord is highlighting and speaking two promises from John 16:33.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!
For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you].”                 
John 16:33 (amplified)                                                                                                       
we will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration. 

2016 will not be just smooth-sailing, beloved.
There will be storms.
there will be waters and rivers and fires.
There will be desert seasons 

and wildernesses.

Church, He has also promised perfect peace and confidence.
He has promised we can be of
good cheer [full of confidence and courage—certain and undaunted].
and dear one,
He has promised that He has ALREADY
overcome the world—depriving it of its power to harm us and conquering it, along with its trials and stresses and pain, for us.

In Isaiah 43:2, He promises that when—not if--we pass through the waters He will be with us, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon us.

there will be mysteries this year. There will be pains and trials that catch us off guard—things that we might not understand, and certainly not like.
but there’s a truth that needs to sink deep down into the very core of our being, wherever we are at today..

>>that running from Him will not bring the comfort or relief that we seek and desire.<<

[[ I hear Him calling, beckoning,
for us to settle it in our hearts that no matter what comes, no matter what circumstances—we’re going to stand on His Word and on the truth of His love for us. ]]

“I have told you all these things, so that you should not be offended (taken unawares and falter, or be caused to stumble and fall away).
They will put you out of synagogues; but an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God.
And they will do this because they have not known the Father or Me.
But I have told you these things now, so that when they occur you will remember that I told you them.”
John 16:1-4a

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