2017 has almost gone – and 2018 beckons.
Its been a busy 12 months, almost hectic at times. There have been highs. Friends have been married, others have had children. There have also been lows. Sickness and loss have never been far away.
I have been on planet earth for nearly 45yrs now, long enough to be certain that 2018 holds more of the same for all of us.
Each of us will experience at least one thing that will challenge us. For some of us, this will be something that will rock the very foundation of all that we hold dear and believe.
What will you do when that challenge comes?
Most of us don’t want to contemplate hardship, sickness or death. We are far happier blocking these thoughts out and focusing on the good things. We think that as long as we don’t entertain the thought, the reality won’t transpire, at least not to us or those we love.
My experience is that determining how you are going to react in a crisis during the crisis is a recipe for disaster. If we have thought about how we will react ahead of time, it makes it far more likely that we will indeed react like that when the crisis hits.
Around 2600yrs ago, the Prophet Jeremiah sat in a cave overlooking the Holy city of Jerusalem, as it was destroyed by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The city of the Lord lay in ruins, its’ people taken into exile or slain. The treasures of the temple had been taken back to Babylon. Everything he knew and loved was gone. He felt deserted by the only one who mattered – God. He knew that God had promised this if the city did not turn from its wickedness – but as he watched, God felt distant.
There are many reasons that crisis may find us in 2018 – perhaps some of which will be the subject of different blogs (if I’m feeling brave). Reasons for crisis are not the subject of this blog, but how we will react when our world complelty falls apart, like it did for Jeremiah.
In spite of all that was happening before his eyes, Jeremiah was able to pen the following –
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him. (Lamentations 3:21-23 emphisis mine)
Jeremiah recalled something he knew of the Lord. He made a choice to recall the love and mercies of the Lord. He ceased to wallow in self pity and dispair. He didn’t focus on the problem – he focused on the Lord – the only one who held any answers in the face of such a problem.
HOPE is such a simple word. In the letter to the Hebrews, we are told that faith is the substance, the assurance of thing hoped for. The things we have faith in should be able to follow through with assurance and substance. Something we can touch and experience. Hope without faith is pointless. Faith with hope gives us assurance.
What are you hoping for in 2018? Whatever we hope for, we can be assured that God will be with us every step of the way. I choose to accept His love. I choose to recall all that He has done in 2017 (and beyond), I choose be believe that He IS GOOD.
Will trouble come my way – almost certainly. Will I allow it to take up residence in my soul – absolutely not.
I pray that whatever 2018 holds for you – whether you are facing it with exitement or with fear – that you will join me in “calling to mind” the love and mercies of the Lord, and face 2108 with renewed hope.