Monday, December 31, 2012

where my heart prepares for new beginnings...

Do you see it? There in the distance? Almost within arm's reach?

The shining hope of a new year. A new beginning. A chance to do things differently.

Many people have already made their resolutions for the new year. They will include exercise more, eat better, be a better person, read my Bible more. And much of the same.

I readily admit I used to make resolutions. And by March {and that is being really generous} I failed.

One thing is certain with this new year we see on the horizon. There will be pain and suffering. There will be sickness and death. There will be acts of evil and times where the bad guy seems to win.

But there will be blessings. Many, many blessings.

I learned a good deal to prep me for the new year as I spent time in Habakkuk this morning.

Habakkuk was a minor prophet, most likely from around the late seventh century b.c. His prophecy likely came around the time that the Babylonian Empire was on the rise and preparing to go to battle against the nations along the coast of the Mediterranean.

The idea of Judah falling to the Babylonians caused Habakkuk to question God and His ways. Through his questions, Habakkuk learned of God's sovereignty. How God can use evil nations and leaders to still accomplish His purposes. This led Habakkuk to trust God even more, no matter how desperate things may appear at the onset.

Friends, we will face desperate times in 2013. We will watch evil prevail in situations. We will lose loved ones. We will endure heartache. We will suffer through sickness.

But, who will you trust? Who will turn to in desperate times?

'Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.'
Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)

Stand amazed, my sweet ones.

Watch for what He is doing. All around you. He is working all things together for good. For His Glory.

When the hard, trying, seemingly endless times come, lean on your faith.

'The just shall live by his faith.'
Habakkuk 2:4

Faith is what you believe. Faithfulness is acting on what you believe.

What do you believe? How will you act on your belief in the new year?

May this new year, this new opportunity that glimmers on the horizon burst forth and bring you hope. May you grow closer to the One who blesses you with another year. Another chance to learn more about Him. Another chance to share Him with those around you. May you cry out to Him when times are tough. May you question Him and seek Him for answers. For it is there, where you will learn His character and His heart. It is there where you will find His love pouring out over you like a rushing waterfall. May you splash in the refreshing waters of His love. May you allow it to bathe you clean and make you new.

May you begin to see everything as a grace-gift from the Giver of all things good. And when you do, may you start counting those blessings, big and small.

Happy New Year, my friends! Be blessed.

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