I entered 2013 with a resolve, based on Hebrews 10:36-39; 11:1 & 6; 12:1-13, to go forward through the entire year having a faith:
- That patiently endures
- That has hopeful confidence in the providence and goodness of God
- That strategically focuses on Jesus
I needed this to be my New Year’s resolution for 2013. After all, we had adopted in 2012, and the launch of our new family structure proved to be quite demanding, exhausting and sometimes downright excruciating.
As human beings living in a fallen world, we are not unfamiliar with pain and struggle. All of us, to be sure, are susceptible to its pressures at times along the way. Mine is not a sob story of horror to be prized above the sufferings and challenges of others, but it is my story. I am living in my skin with my emotions, etc.
So, how did I do with the implementation of my 2013-year’s resolution described above? Well, I guess it depends on how you evaluate it. If I were to take one of the moments of crisis and use that as an indicator of success or failure, I may just chalk 2013 up to a complete loss; however, I don’t think that is accurate.
As a whole, God has enabled my faith to endure. When situations have knocked me back in my faith, God has reminded me that He really IS providentially working and that He really DOES have the good of my family in His intentions. When I have been distracted by pain The Spirit has gently used people, Scripture, and sometimes a combination of both, to re-focus my attention on Jesus.
Perhaps I am asking the wrong question. Maybe I should not evaluate how I did; rather, give praise to God for how HE did – how HE sustained my faith. All glory to God for His grace!
Now, as I enter 2014 I do so with a focus provided to me from a dear friend, a focus found in Hebrews 13:20-21, ESV
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I am looking forward to a new year of serving Jesus with increased confidence and faith.