“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalms 107: 1
A few weeks ago, I met a very interesting lady. As we sat opposite each other, I couldn’t help but notice that her left side of her face showed the effects of a stroke. In the past, I worked with stroke survivors, however, it will be wrong for me to say that I understood her illness, it was personal to her. As I looked at her I was quite pitiful, I immediately realised that I had made a judgement about her in my heart. I was judging this person based on the standards of the world.
“But the LORD said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.
You see, God will always provide opportunities for us to learn what is truly within our hearts. He does this as He wants the Holy Spirit to work on us until we become Christlike. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. “When you receive the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. 1 John 2:27 . This encounter showed that I must continue to work on my heart.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5: 8
As we begun worshipping God together, she begun praying. Her voice was like caramel, flawless and oozing with love. As she prayed, I no longer saw a face that was different, but I felt the heart of an angel. Her prayers were dancing towards heaven and God was just taking it all in. God compares prayer with sweet-smelling incense that pleases Him (Revelation 5:8). God loves when we pray to Him.
This angel was praying for the people who couldn’t board the flights out of England, because of the drones! She was praying for them to return safely to their families in time for Christmas. How random, but ever so important! On the opposite side of the room, I was praying for my family and close friends. You can tell I’m a baby Christian!
I was in awe of this beautiful human being! I was comforted by her words, I felt safe in her presence. I became more relaxed, so I revealed to her how I came to encounter God through my suffering. She looked at me and said, “I truly thank God for my brain tumour.” I was extremely taken aback by her words, because her words were on point. Two individuals were bonding over a situation that we once thought we could never truly overcome. How amazing is this 🙂
“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” Romans 8: 28
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I saw a post somewhere, it said ” God, let 2019 be a stress free year.” Wouldn’t we all love for this to happen, however, God loves us to much for us to remain the same. If we are not tested, we will never grow, we will never become what God wants us to become. Instead of asking God for an easy life, we should be asking for opportunities to test our faith.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
In January of 2018, I returned to England after a wonderful holiday in St. Vincent. I was filled with enthusiasm, as it was my final year of university. My hands were itching for the financial blessing which was on it’s way. I waited four years for this, I was ready to live my life! I completed university in June of 2018 , a few months later I begun to experience panic attacks, then depression showed it’s horrible face. What kind of blessing do you call this? This blessing came in the darkest of times, but in this darkness I found true light. God called out to me!
“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28- 30
Today, I am truly grateful for that experience, for I now know true happiness. Whenever God permits something to happen, it’s always out of his love for us. If only we can always see this, how different will our lives be.
Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but God does it for our own good, so that we may share his holiness.
When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life. Hebrews 12:10-11 GNB
In 2019, we will face many trials, however, we can overcome these situations if we see trials as bundles of blessings. It will be silly of us to have no ups and downs while we are alive and breathing. Someone once told me, “When you look at a heart monitor ( I’m sure there is another name for this machine) there are lines going up and down, those high and lows indicate life. The moment you see a flat line it’s all over for you.” So those lines are so important, they not only show that breath is within you, but it shows that you are making each breath count. We are to give thanks for every experience we face. The moment we learn to be grateful not only for the good, but for the pain and suffering, we will see God in a different way. God will not only change your situation, but he will reward us for trusting in him.
I have no idea what you are going through at this moment. Probably you have brought a lot of anger into 2019 and you are worried about how you will cope in the next few months.
It could be that a relationship has turned sour and you can’t understand what’s happening. Do not be worried, Jesus is trying to connect to you, he is that vine which you must cling to.
Tonight, I pray that this year brings you tons of blessings, however, they must be the end result of hard work. It is only through this we are made stronger in mind and in Spirit.
I pray that as the year continues, we learn to place our trust in God. Remember, God is not like people, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks, and it is done. Numbers 23:19. We must always trust and believe in Him.
I am wishing you a wonderful 2019.
May God bless and keep you safe.