Facing A New Year

I know that 2022 may have been filled with rocky times. But, take some time to reflect on what 2022 brought you in the way of goodness, lessons, growth, and yes, blessings.

Let’s not throw away the good because of some rough times. Treasure up these things and ponder them in your heart.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Mary had given birth to the Savior of the world. There were a lot of troubling times since the angel’s announcement that she had found favor with God and she would become a mother even though she was a virgin. Despite the rumors that must have been rampant, Mary trusted God to see her through this ordeal.

I wonder what the things were that Mary “treasured”. I can only guess, but the fact that God found her worthy of giving birth to his son. That she was “chosen”. Maybe she played the vision of the angel that visited her with the announcement. Even that Joseph chose to stay with her out of faith that God had a plan to save the world. He must have loved her deeply to endure the humiliation that I can imagine was directed his way.

I think that Mary found good in the bad times. Can we look back at 2022 and see the good times that may have been overshadowed by the bad? Can we see the good that came out of the bad? Can we trust God that no matter what happens he will make a way?

As my pastor often says, “don’t let a perfectly good desert go to waste. There’s a moment the struggle has to be yours.”

3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 8:3-4

The same God that placed the stars in the sky has chosen you. He has a purpose for creating you. Have you considered what that might be? Do you know that he loves you? You have found favor with him.

Savor that thought. You have found favor with God and he loves you.

Treasure it, protect it, preserve it!

God could have made us follow him. He has that power. But, it would be out of duty, not necessarily out of love. So, you know what he did. He came to earth in the form of a baby. He lived among us as one of us, faced the same problems we face and never used his godly powers to make his path easy. He actually paid the ultimate price for us. His life for ours. He took the place for our sins. We don’t deserve it. Nothing we could ever do to earn it but to accept it and open your heart to receive him.

You are loved by a God who could make you bend your knee. Do you treasure that fact?

We don’t need to defend the gospel. Live it! Let people see the gospel in the way you live.

As we move into 2023, remember what you learned from 2022. Cherish the good and every lesson you learned. Are you the same person you were when 2022 began? Treasure the growth in you. Seek him more. Love more…

In Faith,

Pam

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