Faith & Insight: Merry Christmas and may the Lord bless our new year
If you were to look back over the past 12 months to give guidance into the next 12 months, what would the list look like? Would the list be positive or negative? If it’s overly negative maybe we should look again.
We should really focus on the things that we have learned and endured, instead of focusing on the things that were inconvenient. In doing so, we will be in a better mindset for seeing God’s hand in the “all things.” Romans 8:28 “And we know that ‘all things’ work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.”
All things? Really?
The events of the very first Christmas should inspire us to be hopeful in “all things,” in “all times,” in “all circumstances.”
What can we learn from that first Christmas? An unplanned pregnancy; a very inconvenient governmental decree; traveling back to where you were born, poor conditions of traveling while being very pregnant, finding no place to stay when you arrived at the destination, birthing your baby in a stable, all the while having a murderous crazed ruler being threatened by the baby’s arrival, just to name a few. Those are some serious “all things!”
Yet, the hand of God was guiding and providing all the way. The Lord provided: angelic visitations announcing this event, protection while traveling, even provision for the journey after the delivery by the Magi bringing unexpected gifts. All this was a glorious and divine appointed plan. The most amazing in all of history! Emmanuel, God with us. The song “O Holy Night” describes this so clearly. Please take the time to read all of the lyrics.
In our “all things” may it be that our response would be, as was at the first Christmas: rejoicing, singing, thankfulness, trusting, obeying.
That kind of action is a declaration of faith, one of trust and reliance upon the Lord Jesus.
Elizabeth, Zachariah, Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds trusted by faith in what they heard from God and saw in Scripture. Read the account of this in Luke 1,2, Matthew 1,2
Faith is the substance of things hoped for in the certainty of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
The Bible teaches:
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.”
Wow, what a promise!
May we trust the Lord in this upcoming new year of 2021.
May we respond as instructed in:
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, he is God;
It is he who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
And into his courts with praise.
Be thankful to him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And his truth endures to all generations.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace, grace upon grace.
Happy God’s new year from Calvary Chapel.
Pat Propster is the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel.