I’m in Florida for the holidays and staying with very dear friends and ringing in 2017 with my love Mark. The weather here is almost always perfect and the sunsets are incredible.
One night a cold front blew through, 44° mind you, when I noticed outside a hibiscus flower was in full bloom. It was not struggling to adapt to the climate change. It was vibrant and strong. It was thriving. Planted in a parched or frozen climate this beautiful flower would die down to its roots.
It made me think of how God created us and strategically places us in the perfect environment and climate to thrive. Any more or less would be outside of His clear and perfect will.
On a spiritual level I believe He has created our mind, body, spirit for a perfect climate, whether it be a fiery trial, secluded wilderness or a frozen desert in this life as we know it on this side of eternity.
How could a fiery trial be perfect for us? How could being lost in a frozen desert be the perfect climate?
Intense fire burns away all that weighs us down. Being set apart and in seclusion affords no distractions so our faces may be pointed to Jesus. Only He can heal, rescue, provide and love us perfectly.
I am hopeful and believe without a shadow of a doubt that His promises are true, perfect and beautiful. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of those promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Romans 8:28 makes my heart hopeful.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but as the proverbial ball drops in Time Square and we begin the new year I have a stirring passion, a resolute countenance, a drive and determination to be better, strive harder, make a difference… above all my desire is to make my Father proud. I want to be challenged.
In the book of Hebrews I feel as though my coach is giving me a pep talk just before my big race. It is, after all, the biggest race we are faced with on Earth.
The Call To Endurance
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12 (HCSB)
Let’s make a difference in 2017 together. Maybe it will be in something life-changing and life-giving like deepening our relationship wit God by increasing our quiet time with Him. Maybe it will be increasing our discipline by pressing deeper into our first fruits and joyfully give of …
Our Time …
Our Talent …
Our Treasure …
… With each push to discipline ourselves to break away from the comfortable, with every extra effort we make to change to be more like Christ is another victory for our King Jesus, for Eternity, and not to mention for the legacy we leave behind. You have all you need inside you at this very moment and so do I.
What is stirring in your heart making you hopeful?
Trust Him. Press into Him. Expect the unimaginable, unfathomable and abundant provision of God. His arms are wide open. Run to Him. He is waiting.
Happy New Year and may God continue to richly bless you!
In His love,