Happy New Year! Light or dark — it’s your choice

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Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

2020 has finally closed. Many of you are heartbroken, and many of you may have had a great year. There is such a wide disparity of emotions that have occurred this year. Whether you agreed with the election results, tired of the political schemes, or just hurt by the loss of loved ones and friends from the pandemic, 2020 has been an emotionally tumultuous year.

Sometimes it is hard seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, or finding joy through the experiences of life this year. Personally, I have used the experiences to learn and grow mentally, physically and spiritually. I think we have all learned that life is different now.

Our families have experienced separation, our church families have gone through tests and trials, our children have gone to virtual schooling, and our work places have changed drastically.

We have learned to process new ways of interpersonal relationships, new ways to worship, new ways to teach and educate our children, and many have worked at home. It has certainly been a test of mental fortitude. Bottom line- there was growth in the varied methods of our lives and we have moved forward with greater anticipation of brighter days, or you are tired and depressed and can’t wait for the fog to lift.

I like to credit my 24-year experience in the US Army for providing me with the platform to prepare for this time in my life. While serving, with my family alongside, there were many days that were joyful, and many unexpected days that were far less. Some days, the expected happened, other days were testing of my ability to adapt. The one key thing I could always count on was an unchanging God!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

I credit my career and family life to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. My favorite go to verse was “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) I can’t imagine the tasks that seemed impossible, were accomplished only because I depended on Christ and not self. I give him praise for the good, the bad and the ugly! It is he, who saw me through it all.

Friends, 2020 can be dark and ugly, or you can persevere with joy through the many trails you face and will continue to encounter. James remind us in James 1:2-4 that’s says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The pandemic doesn’t have to control us, and cause us to hate each day because we have to adapt to change. Spiritual warfare is alive and well and Satan is attacking the very core of our being. Its time to wake up and call on Christ for victory. James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Don’t let 2020 nor this pandemic dictate your life. Allow God to see you through it, and let his light shine through you and through the darkness. You may be the light that someone needs to get through these times.

Clarity and deliverance from darkness is something you can always depend on when you call on Jesus. John 8:12 says, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Light or dark, it’s your choice! I choose Jesus, I choose light, I choose life! “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10.)

Have faith, and trust in God’s mighty hand. Happy New Year, and God bless you all.

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