~ by Oswald Chambers ~
The new year is here! Most of us think about ways to make the most of a brand-new start as the calendar turns the page and we see the possibilities ahead. We don't know what the next year has in store, but we are optimistic that this is God's gift to us to figure out some things that were puzzling and confusing in the past. And so we tend to make resolutions, make plans, get organized, make commitments, and decide to do a few things differently. But in the end, we are just not in control of all of that! It is a good thing to plan for the future, to make a budget and try to live with it, to set out on a plan for a more healthy lifestyle - but ultimately, only God knows what lies ahead.
How many times over this past year have you encountered a difficult situation, a period of struggle and disappointment, or circumstances that seemed hopeless? Not too long ago our family was facing an ongoing period of financial struggles as a result of unemployment. One day we were wondering what we were going to do next, and the very next day there was a job offer! And not just any job offer . . . . this opportunity to work with a local company that truly treats their employees with respect, appreciation, and kindness has changed more than our financial situation! Not that everything is perfect, by any means - but for the minute, we are feeling much less stress about keeping up with the bills. And that is a very good thing!
There have been many times in our family, and in your family, too, I am sure, when you were confronting something that just seemed absolutely insurmountable. Perhaps a personal tragedy, or death, or a broken relationship, and you simply could not see beyond to darkness which surrounded you. It is at that moment that I want to remind you that trusting in God's grace is not just something to talk about. I can assure that it is true, that it works, and that it makes a difference! Although we all try not to talk about all of those struggles in our lives, especially when we have experienced things like a broken marriage, a spiritual battle with sin, or an ongoing struggle with addiction, God's grace is sufficient for the most devastating crisis you may be experiencing.
But all of this is a choice. Faith is, in fact, a "deliberate confidence." And what is most significant here is that it is a confidence, not in an arbitrary granting of a request that may or may not be heard, it is a confidence in the one thing that never changes: the character of God. Because we know that God's love never fails, His compassion is eternal, and His grace is complete, we can be confident in knowing that He is in control, even when all seems lost. Beyond that knowledge, we can be confident that He cares and is working even when we can't see what lies ahead. Now we can still choose to reject that truth, and create our own future. Or we can make a deliberate choice to believe in His promises, and eventually your heart will be healed, your life will be restored, relationships will be redeemed . . . . but we must do our part, and that is to have "deliberate confidence" in the loving heart of our God.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." Psalm 23:4
If you would like to participate this week with "In Other Words," simply post your thoughts on this quotation on your blog, and then come back here and leave a link to your post so we can come and visit you. Then, please take a minute to visit the other participants' blogs and let them know you stopped by! Have a great week and a blessed new year! Ninad ambers ~