Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer
This post is because not all of us had a great 2015. It's okay. You can say it. Some years are just bad, and sometimes it's two in a row.
I wish I could say something to myself and to you to make it okay or better. But sometimes life is excruciatingly hard, and there's nothing we can do but cling to the life boat that is Jesus Christ. We must pray through and believe, even when prayer is the last thing we feel like entering into.
We have to go through the motions because continuing to do so is what it looks like to live out our faith. When today looks bleak and tomorrow doesn't look any better, we don't give up and quit the race, dejected or angry. We stay in and hope. We believe that God is good and that he's working all things for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose.
Gratitude is hard during these periods; it takes more reach, more soul-searching to walk in true thankfulness. Some days, there might only be three things on your list: God, salvation, children. That's a start. Keep reaching for more. When there's something heavy on your heart, gratitude is what allows you to get above the water and take a breath. Keep taking breaths.
Trust God. Lean not on your own understanding.
Remember what this feels like, because eventually, God will have you comfort someone who's despairing. You're doing the homework now for that some-day assignment.
Yes, there is a purpose for everything. Your sorrow has a purpose. It's not your fault. It's not a character flaw.
My word for 2016 is Hope. My hope is in Him. I choose to hope in his love for me, in his faithfulness, in his provision, in his timing, in his goodness. Hope is a word that sounds somewhat desperate, doesn't it? Hope is a word you choose when you're at the end of yourself. It's a word you choose when you feel like life is a runaway raft headed for the waterfall.
Hope is believing a rope will come along soon, to pull you to safety. You can't hope unless you believe. You can't believe unless you encounter Christ and His Word on a regular basis.
Read, Pray, Believe, Hope. Then repeat.
Happy New Year! Happy Believing and Hoping!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.