Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Year

Today begins a new year on our calandars.  2022 has exited, and 2023 has begin.  Do you wonder what 2023 will bring?  I suspect it will be a combination of joys and sorrows just like any other year.  The difference is that the children of God know the Lord is with them in both the trials and the joys.  

Why is it then that even we, as children of God, often find ourselves fretting and worrying from time to time?  I think part of it may be that we are making other things outside of the Lord too important to us.  Sometimes perhaps these other things over which we are fretting have become functional idols.  Also, we are imperfect, needy people who need the assurance of God's protecting and loving heart.  Yet, God has promised us over and over in His Word, the Bible,that He will never leave us or forsake us and that He will be with us to the end.  He has also proven Himself over and over in our lives.  

Matthew 6 in the New Testament of the Bible instucts us not to worry about our lives.  If God cares for the birds and the flowers, He will certainly care for us.  We often fret and worry about our needs and wants, but Jesus said in Matthew 6:32 that "your heavenly Father knows that you need them."  Instead of worrying Jesus commands us to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness."   He says if we do that, "all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

I don't know about you, but I often fret and worry.  In fact, the other morning I had just read the beautiful Matthew 6 chapter and was reassured from the passage.  Yet later in the day I found myself fretting about some little thing again.  Yet the more we are in God's Word, the Bible, we find out that worrying is not necessary.  We can just rest in the Lord even in the difficult moments. 

Philip Yancey says, "A God wise enough to create me and the world I live in is wise enough to watch out for me."  Paula Rinehart says, "If God has you in the palm of His hand and your real life is secure in Him, then you can venture forth-into the places and relationships, the challenges, the very heart of the storm-and you will be safe there."  Timothy Keller has said, "Worry is not believing God will get it right."  

No matter what we face, whatever God allows in our path; He will be with us and will be with our very lives.  Even in life's trials we are in His hands.  Maybe you are challenged by a family care-giving situation. Maybe you or someone you love is very ill.  Maybe you have financial or job issues.  Maybe you have relationship issues.  

In the last couple weeks of 2022 alone for me there were experiences of sharing Christmas joy with some of my grandchildren and my new husband of three and a half years.  I have, however, also experienced difficult moments due to the continual struggles of my sister with her cancer and the funeral a few days ago of my husband's only remaining sibling, his brother.  

This time of year is always also somewhat difficult for me, as I think about how twelve years ago my son and I found on the morning of January 2nd that my my first husband had passed away during the night, a day after his 65th birthhday.  This had been after a few long years' struggle with a neurological disease.   Yet no matter what we face, the Lord is still our great Shepherd and will care for us.  God has been with me through many difficult experiences, and will be with me in the current and future ones.  I need not fret or worry.  He will for be with you as well, dear reader.    

Let's enter 2023 with a new confidence and trust in the Lord.  Let's rest in Him.  Let's trust Him with our todays and tomorrows.  He is worthy of our trust.  He is Immanual, God with us.  (If you did not see last week's Christmas post about Him being Immanuel click this link: )

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