As the final hours of 2008 dwindle away and we prepare to welcome the new year, my heart is full. Like so many others, this has been a year of great blessings, challenging difficulties, heartbreaking losses, surprising victories and certainly a few unexpected twists and turns. That being said, I feel blessed. My grateful heart has chosen thanks for each and every situation orchestrated by my loving Father this year. Do I understand them all? No. Do I still have questions? Many. Am I free of all worry and concern? In all honesty… no. But through these things has my faith grown stronger? Yes. Has my dependence on Him increased? Without question. Has He provided for every need? Undoubtedly. Can I trust in His grace and faithfulness to carry me through whatever lay ahead in 2009? Most assuredly.
Regardless of the highs and lows of any given year, my ultimate hope rests in Christ. Though momentary circumstances may at times threaten my calm, there is peace at the very core of my soul that comes from the knowing…I am His, and He is mine. There is no greater assurance we can have.
I read a beautiful passage this morning:
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” ~ Lamentations 3:21-24
What a precious promise for the coming year! Not surprisingly, it brings to mind the words to a favorite hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” -- a beautiful blend of worship, thanksgiving and continuing trust in He who is most faithful. As you reflect on the passage and the words to this hymn, consider His goodness, grace, love and faithfulness to you this year. May we then fully rest with renewed hope in Him for the year to come.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not:
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Chorus: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided--
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow—
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
I pray God's greatest blessings for you and yours in the new year. I count your friendships among my sweetest gifts of 2008.