As 2017 comes to a close, it is natural for one to reflect on what God has done in him, for him and THROUGH him.

Reading through Judges 10, in 5 verses, 2 lives of leaders were mentioned. One of which had this description:

“After him arose Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel twenty-two years. And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys, and they had thirty cities, called Havvoth-jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died and was buried in Kamon.” (Judges 10:3-5)

Many other judges and leaders were mentioned in that particular book in the Old Testament. Their lives, families and what God had accomplished through them were listed. But these were all that was mentioned about these 2 guys. Maybe the author of the book didn’t have the information or maybe not much was accomplished in their lifetime than just what was mentioned.

It made me think that when my life is over, what will people remember? Thirty children? That I rode thirty donkeys and ruled thirty towns?

What is my significant contribution to the Kingdom of God?
What will people remember about what God did through me?
Who are the people I helped in my lifetime?
How is the world a better place because of me?
Did I fulfill my purpose?

We are not merely called to live life to the fullest but more so to live it according to His purpose.
His divine vocation is more important than our personal aspiration.

As we begin to wrap up 2012, looking back will have its highs and lows.

Some of you may have had the best year of your life. Relationships are working. Provision is great. The job that you are in is ideal. Your grades in Math turned out to be your best ever so far. Everything’s great.

However, there might be others who might not even remember how great ‘great’ is.

You lost your sister because of cancer. Your mom and dad split up. Your terror teacher picked on you year round. Your business fell apart.

But that’s the reality of your circumstances.

Circumstances can be interesting. It can alter our emotions.

When all is good, we feel thrilled. But when things don’t go our way or the way we planned, we feel gloomy.

One thing you and I have to drill deep in our hearts…

Our circumstances don’t alter His character.

When all goes well, HE IS GOOD.
When things go bad, HE IS STILL GOOD.

When relationships are smooth, HE IS GOOD.
But when there are dysfunctional, HE IS STILL GOOD.

When provision is sufficient, HE IS GOOD.
When we are in lack, HE IS STILL GOOD.

Our circumstances don’t alter His character.

He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:5)

Happy New Year!

I spoke to Jessie (not his real name) who has a difficulty forgiving someone from his past.  In fact, the guy’s been dead for years yet he still is upset with him.  Forgiveness is a necessity.  It’s really not for the offender than it is for the offended.  Unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping that the other person dies.  Hard to do, but a necessity.

Then I had a meeting with Troy (also not his real name).  We’ve been meeting because he and his wife have been going through marriage problems.  He admitted that he lived a life of arrogance, hypocrisy and immorality. Right before New Year’s Eve, he sent me this text…

“Looking back at 2011, God exposing me for the fraud I was, was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I will honor God in all that I do in 2012, and the years to come. Thanks. Happy New Year.” 

After that, Paul texted me (yeah, his real name this time) and told me that God had healed him from cancer. Whoa! Amazing testimony!

Hearing these three stories, one passage of Scripture comes to mind.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up… (Isaiah 43:18)

1. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Many are stuck in the past. It’s like driving your car and having your eyes fixed on the rear view mirror all the time. Unfortunately, you cannot and will not enjoy the view up ahead because what is behind always takes your perspective.

It’s hard to walk forward if you’re always looking backward.  Soon enough, you’ll bump your head.  Plus, you’ll miss the adventure of the future.

2. I am doing a new thing!

God is a God of new things!

Every morning, His mercies are new.
Every season, new flowers blossom.
Every year, new hope springs up.

If you keep dwelling on the past, you’ll miss all the new things God has for the future.

And it is in the routine, mundane and ordinary that we notice the little miracles God wants to recreate in and around us.

3. Now it springs up…

Now…! Did you hear it?

I’ll say it again, “NOW!”

Not next week. Not 2 months from now. Not next year. NOW!

God’s doing something new. He really is. Wait for it. Listen to Him. And praise Him in the process.

Our God is an awesome God!

These are my 2 words for the coming year – HOPEFUL ANTICIPATION.

You’ve had that experience. As a child, you’ve wanted that toy (Gameboy, Game and Watch, Game whatever) and a few days before Christmas, you overheard your parents talking about their gift to you. Yes! That very thing you wanted.

Christmas eve, nestled under the tree is a box nicely wrapped. You sit on the sofa with no one around. In the corner of your eye, you see your name on the box. Guess what’s plastered on your face? A smile that cannot be explained. A simper on the corner of your mouth. Why? Because you just know.

YOU JUST KNOW…

Hopeful anticipation!

You can be anticipating something but in fear or in anxiety. That’s not what we’re talking about.

Hopeful anticipation is different.

YOU JUST KNOW!

You just know … that whatever happens, your Father has your best interests in mind.
You just know … that even in lack, God is able to come through with provision. (Phil. 4:19)
You just know… that in times of uncertainty, you will never be shaken because He is at your right hand (Ps. 16:8)
You just know… that though things don’t work out the way you planned them, He is able to cause all things to work for your good. (Rom. 8:28).

YOU JUST KNOW!

Happy New Year everyone!