“We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
The last couple of years have had their challenges, short-lived troubles. The real challenge is to not focus our attention on all the crazy, ungodly, devasting, heart breaking evil that we see. We must be so close to His heart that we can focus on the unseen.
2021 – It was a challenging year. As I think back on the year it seemed more than a few short-lived troubles. But as the verse says, in the light of eternity. As a church Body we continued to come together. We had 1-2 prayer meetings/week, men’s and ladies breakfasts, Thursday night study. We gave faithfully to all the ministries we seed into and never missed a month. The Pig Roast and Men’s Conference were a great success. New families were welcomed and some old friends welcomed back. Our church family is growing but still small, yet mighty. This year we sent our two families to other parts of the country to share the Good News Message there. Sending out more this year which is always hard but what we are called to do. Sickness and death raised its ugly head trying to get our attention and get us discouraged but we know this is what is seen and is only temporary. You never stop missing those who have gone ahead of us but when we focus on what isn’t seen with our natural eye’s we know all those that have left this world are in the unseen realm which is eternal. That is the only way of healing from loss on this earth. We give Him all the glory and honor for guiding us through 2021.
Heading into 2022 is so different than years past when times were a bit more certain and predictable. The verse the Lord gave me last September is still one of my life verses for 2022.
“Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7
Since we are approaching the end of all things, He instructs us to be intentional, purposeful and self-controlled so we can be given to prayer. It doesn’t say because we are approaching the end of all things to sit down, quit and give up since there is nothing we can do anyway.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14
The word wait means to be together by twisting, to entwine or wrap tightly, not waiting passively. Our hearts are to be entwined with His. We are to be brave and courageous and never lose hope! Hope for what? We are to hope with earnest expectation that we have a victorious life in Him so matter what is happening around us!
“But in the depths of my heart I truly know that You, Yahweh, have become my Shield;
You take me and surround me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You lift high my head.” Psalm 3:3
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2
The other day as I was praying about the New Year, I heard the Lord say. “2022 is a year of breakthroughs.” A year of breakthrough of all the fears and lies we have believed and brought into our hearts. Breakthrough of hopelessness.
I saw a paper-thin wall around all the lies, deceptions, fears, sickness, losses – whatever is keeping you – me from being entwined as one with Him and keeps our focus on what is temporal and seen. These lies, deceptions, sickness were wrapped kind of like gifts in this thin paper. I saw this paper-thin wall disappearing like paper that is torn away from something. Just a rip of the paper-thin wall reveals His Truth, promises and hope. It’s not a concrete wall. We are only a couple steps away from total breakthrough! The He reminded me that He is the breakthrough and He already ripped off the paper wall when He tore the veil. We’ve let this paper-thin wall erect before our eyes when He has already broken through death on Resurrection Day. The veil was torn and we have everything that He has for us at our finger tips right now, but we are staring at the paper-thin wall of lies and deception that are hiding His Truth and Life. “I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!” Psalm 32:8-9
These are the last days. The Word gives us instruction after instruction on what to do in the last days. “This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.” Hebrews 10:25
“And now we are brothers and sisters in God’s family because of the blood of Jesus, and he welcomes us to come into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm—boldly and without hesitation. For he has dedicated a new, life-giving way for us to approach God. For just as the veil was torn in two, Jesus’ body was torn open to give us free and fresh access to him! And since we now have a magnificent High Priest to welcome us into God’s house, we come closer to God and approach him with an open heart, fully convinced that nothing will keep us at a distance from him. So now wrap your heart tightly around the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises!” Hebrews 10:19-23
“And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition?” James 1:5-8
This year “I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide.” This is His word to us. His eyes that see the seen and the unseen will be our guide. We have many goals and visions for the ministry this year but the greatest vision we have is that as a church family we will “be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” “Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you”.
There’s no greater vision than a vision from His Word. 2022 here we come excited and full of joy for all He is doing in and through us!! Happy New Year!!