Happy New Year!
My husband Don preached on the life of Anna (Luke 2:36-38), a testimony so easy to overlook and yet powerful. Anna had trials and yet she maintained consistency in her service at the church. Her life centered around worship, fasting and prayer. Anna shared with those interested about the redemption of Jerusalem. Her consistency was seen, experienced and celebrated. A great challenge for us today as we go into another year – 2022 – a fresh start and yet still living in the shadow of 2020. The trials we have all faced as we have and still journey through a COVID19 world with much political and social unrest. Many of us are tired, at times discouraged and wonder what the future holds.
Add the other ‘stuff’ that life tosses our way it can be overwhelming. I have spoke with many who are dealing with health and/or family concerns, loneliness, discouragement etc.…. For my husband and I, these past three and a half years in Lethbridge we have had trials. Housefire being at the top of the list. I don’t write that to solicit pity but I write it to say, “I understand, we live in the this upside down world too and it can be challenging”. And yet we can stand firm in knowing that “For God so Loved the World, that He gave His One and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” A verse so common, I could have just said, “John 3:16” and you would be able to recite it by heart. But I wrote it down because to the World right now it’s the only consistent truth. God’s love for us so great, that He sent us Jesus! Ahhhh….rest in that knowing. What would it look like for you, if each time you turn on the news, read the COVID19 stats, hear of conflict or harsh critics, or your personal trials, to pause and whisper the name of JESUS! The consistent one. The one who loves you and this upside down world so much, He was willing to suffer and die, in order for us to experience His salvation, grace, acceptance, mercy, hope, joy, and all that other good stuff!
It's easy to give up and/or give in…..consistency to the things of Christ takes focus, heart desire and allowing the Holy Spirit to change, renew and empower us. I am thankful that in my imperfections He perfects, in my discouragement, He encourages and in my weakness He strengthens. It’s because of His consistency in my life that I am able to be consistent! Can we trust in the faithfulness of God as we enter into 2022? Can we live with the same consistency as Anna? Are we open to allowing the Holy Spirit to do that work within our hearts so that we can be a living testimony to anyone who wants to hear? My prayer is “YES”!
Major Donna Bladen