There are many doom and gloom predictions for 2009 and can make most people lose hope. Seeing the future with the eyes of circumstance based on past and present events can make us all believe that they are true..
Allow me to share interconnected stories in the Bible that encouraged me to see 2009 with the eyes of faith, faith in God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The first story is of Abraham, when he was commanded by God to leave Ur and go to Canaan... he left with great provision.
Gen 12:1The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”as this great narrative continues, Abraham obeyed and God indeed blessed him.
The next is the story of Issac when there was a great famine in the land..
Genesis 26 1 A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants,[a] just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.In the rest of the story, we read that God blessed Isaac who became prosperous in the midst of famine..
The third story is that of Jacob when he was fleeing from Laban..
Genesis 31 1 But Jacob soon learned that Laban’s sons were grumbling about him. “Jacob has robbed our father of everything!” they said. “He has gained all his wealth at our father’s expense.” 2 And Jacob began to notice a change in Laban’s attitude toward him. 3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.”... Jacob obeyed and his life was very colorful but God was faithful to His word and accomplished it according to His promise.
My thoughts about thiese narratives:
1. We need to hear from God ... the common thread in these narratives is "God said..."
2. Don’t assume God's plan.. having a good plan does not mean it is what "God said." Many fall by twisting God's arm and asking Him to do what we want, or ask Him to bless what we will do even if He did not ask us to do this. Many delude themselves into thinking that they are doing God’s will when all they did is praying before doing their own will regardless of what God’s thoughts or feelings are about the matter.
I encourage everyone to face this year with the truth of God’s Word.
The bibles says, there will be suffering, not just for 2009, but in the years to come.. a promise with a BUT
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Trials develop CHARACTER.
Romans 15:1313 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Trials builds HOPE in GOD ALMIGHTY
I want to end this with this Psalm 27
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!