For the first Monday of 2016 a perfect word-of-the-week
I’m so grateful that you read these words each week, and I’m prompted to begin 2016 with a message of encouragement.
I can’t promise you smooth roads and an easy path. Life doesn’t work like that. I do believe God offers an opportunity to write a remarkable story with the days of 2016. Like any great story, it will include challenges and conflict. You’ll need courage, and faith, and trust, and hope.
“Take courage! I Am. Don’t be afraid.”
I can’t promise God won’t give you more than you can handle. That’s a platitude for posters. I’m confident, though, that He’ll surround you with folks who will share the load, if you’ll let them. And Jesus will always walk beside you.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
May you find a cause worth investing in, fighting for, sacrificing for. And please remember that worthwhile investments involve risk, and fights worth fighting often leave a few battle scars. And sacrifice means…sacrificing something.
May you live free of fear. In a world in which many seek to manipulate by manufacturing and magnifying fear, I hope you’ll trust that God’s at work and the message of fear is the enemy’s lie.
May you, whenever possible, seek to think the best of others. Regarding people with mistrust and suspicion causes us to make up untrue stories in our heads and to ascribe bad motives to even good deeds.
May you leave the past in the past and avoid the silliness of tripping over obstacles that are behind you.
May you minimize worry which wastes so much energy and adds nothing to the quality of life.
May you forgive, not because it’s deserved or because you want to or because you feel like forgiving or even because you’re supposed to forgive. I hope you’ll forgive because it’s the only lasting path to peace and freedom.
May you know, with absolute confidence, that God works for good in all circumstances. None of your effort, success, struggle, pain, or failure will be wasted.
May you move forward with hope, the confident expectation that God always keeps His promises.
May you always lead with love. Not because it’s easy or because it makes sense or because it gets the desired short-term results. May you lead with love because it’s the path to Jesus and because, in the end, it’s the way the universe works.
My encouragement, dear friends, to you and to me for 2016.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!