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Overcoming Difficult Trials

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God, Be My Vision

New Year:Be My Vision

Magicians utilize a reliance on vision to fool their audience with illusions. A slight of hand might be employed to make a person or rabbit disappear. But, when David Copperfield (apparently) made the Statue of Liberty vanish before our very eyes, we had to pick up our jaws that had suddenly dropped to the floor.

In our walk with Christ, we need to rely less on physical eyesight and more on the eyes of our heart. These eyes of our heart encapsulate our total inner person: intellect, emotions and will. It is where we grow in our knowledge of Him. God wants us to know the hope of our calling, which is, children of the Most High.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

As we enter the New Year, we ought to reflect on the old and consider the New Year ahead. Do we need to make some changes? Are some routines in need of adjustment? Have we become spiritually blind, relying more on our physical eyesight rather than the spiritual promises of God? Is faith dependent on sight? No!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Until Jesus visited Saul on the road to Damascus, with eyes that functioned properly, he couldn’t see God. But after he was struck blind, he could see the Father. The eyes of his heart were enlightened.

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.” Acts 9:5-8 (NKJV)

When Moses stood before the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army approaching, his eyesight could have been his downfall. Instead of viewing the situation as a hopeless trap, his faith in God’s provision saved Israel. In fact, the Israelites witnessed one of the most amazing miracles recorded in the Bible. The Red Sea parted and provided a much-needed path out of harms way. Where there had been no path, there was a new one divinely created by God.

If you find yourself at a crossroad this January, seek God in prayer but then trust He will direct your path. Do not try to force Him into moving. He will not budge… until He is ready. God knows the best time to advance, so you might have to camp out by the Red Sea for a while. Cling to His faithfulness. Trust in His love. The desires of your heart may differ from His. And since He wants only the very best for you, lay your will at His feet and ask Him to transform it into His.

The prophet, Jeremiah, clearly states the problem of man’s inability to direct his life.

“Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; It is not for them to direct their steps.Jeremiah 10:23 (NKJV)

May the Lord meet you exactly where you are spiritually and chisel out every bit of coal within your heart. Transformation is a long process, so hang on and trust the Master Artesian! Eventually, you will witness your own metamorphosis. Once a lump of coal, you were dead and without light because of sin. Now, changed by the hand of God, a diamond filled with His pure light. Enter into the New Year with the promise of His love, grace, and hope. Come what may, He will always be by your side.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13 (NIV)

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“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end-even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:2-3 (NIV)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” Psalm 25:12 (NIV)

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:10 (NKJV)

God Gives Us A New Beginning Every 24 Hours

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“This is the day the Lord has made;
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? 
I will even make a road in the wilderness
 and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV)

Our God loves to make new things! Every day children are born, riverbeds are created, and a new sunrise greets the world. New life is everywhere we look. Even in death, God’s children have new life, complete with a new home and a new body.

Every twenty-four hours we have a fresh start. What a gift! We can choose to leave our failures of yesterday behind and rise to the challenge of making all things bright and beautiful in our new day.

If tragedy struck yesterday, shock and sorrow will most likely find their way into your new sunrise. Some days are simply darker than others and we are obliged to trudge along, but the new beginning is still there for the taking. What will you do with it? Will you use it to glorify God?

Maybe you’ll decide to lift up a short whispered praise, for your voice can barely utter a word in all your sorrow. He will hear it, dear one. Your sacrifice of praise will not go unnoticed by your Creator. 

When trials come, we can easily fall into the temptation of looking back. We ask ourselves, “If I had done something differently could I have avoided this outcome?” This manner of thinking can eat up our soul with guilt, and guilt is not of the Lord! To reflect and meditate is advantageous, but obsessive thinking will only cripple our ability to weather the storm we must muster through.

If the trial you are experiencing is due to a sin you committed, reflect on the matter, confess it, and then believe that God has forgiven you. He has tossed your sin as far as the east is from the west. He no longer remembers it and He really doesn’t want you bringing it up over and over again. As far as He is concerned it has been forgotten. With forgiveness comes a peace. Enter into your peace but learn from your circumstances and struggle. 

The Devil loves to trap us in pits of despair, pulling us from active duty in God’s army. We become ineffective soldiers because of condemnation. Looking back to consider your ways of old in order to walk a straighter path is wise. Looking back and longing for your old life of sin is wrong and detrimental. You are a new creation in Christ and should set aside old things.

Each new day is a gift and should be acknowledged with praises to your King. You’ve been granted another day to serve Him. This is an honor and privilege! You have another chance to share His love and bring lost souls into God’s saving grace. All around you is the beauty of God’s creation! When was the last time you really appreciated the glory of a sunset, the moon, ocean waves, or the music from a bird’s song? Live in the day that has been provided, rejoice in it and be glad.  Happy New Year!!

“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelations 21:5 (NKJV) 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
 My name shall be great among the Gentiles” Malachi 1:11a

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