Yes, I am back….and it feels good to be back.
You may have noticed my blog has gotten a facelift and a name change. It has been a change a long time in the making and it feels great to finally get it done.
2015 was not the year I expected it be, and I do not think I have ever been so glad to see a year come to an end. I do not want to dwell on the negatives of 2015, but I would like to apologize for the neglect of this blog. I started out 2015 with great intentions and lofty goals, but somewhere along the way I lost my passion. I lost sight of who I am and what I want this blog to be.
Over the last few days I have been trying to find my word or phrase of the year like so many of my fellow bloggers. You should see my legal pad as it looks like a crazy spider web full of words, arrows, circles, and exclamation marks. It is like going down a rabbit hole with one word leading to another word, which leads to another word.
I started this blog believing my word of the year was PEACE.
Not peace in the world (which would be nice, but not realistic), but peace in my myself, peace in my relationship with Christ.
I am tired of being tired. I am tired of being busy being busy. I am seeking peace. I am seeking rest.
The attacks on Christ and Christianity in 2015 has taken a toll on me. I spent way too much time this year caught up in/on controversial issues. Not that I regret where my writing took me, but rather for not seeing the emotional toll it cost. I spent too much time researching and not enough time seeking, praying, and communicating. My relationship with Christ suffered. And as a result of a distant relationship with Christ, all areas of my life suffered.
Enough of dwelling…..how can I change it?
Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT): Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
According to Philippians 4, in order to have “peace that surpasses all understanding,” we must have:
- Have joy in the Lord;
- Be considerate/kind/gentle;
- Always be mindful that the Lord is coming again soon;
- Don’t worry;
- Ask God for what you need;
- Praise God/be thankful/be grateful for what you have or what he has already done.
Well, it is no wonder I lost my peace in 2015 as I struggled in many of these areas. How did you fair?
I could talk about each and every one of these elements; however, I think the importance of what I am about to say (write) would get lost.
Until I read Philippians 4, I didn’t realize I struggled greatly in 2015 because I lost my joy in the Lord.
Having joy in the Lord is vital because the joy of the Lord is our strength!
Nehemiah 8:10(NLT)………Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
Simply, joy produces strength. We must have strength to fight. I don’t know about you, but I fight every day. I not only fight against Satan, but I fight against myself and the sinful desires of my flesh. Some days it takes everything I got just to hold on to my faith. How can I continue the fight of faith if I have lost my strength (because I have lost my joy)?
James 1:2-4 (NLT): Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Make no mistake, pure joy is not happiness. God does not expect us to be happy about our hardships, but rather he wants us to find joy in knowing what the hardships will produce.
In order to find pure joy, we have to take our focus off our problems, off our circumstances, and put it on God. Pure joy only comes from complete and utter trust in God and His Word. If you have no trust, you will not be able to have joy in the trials because you will not be able to trust God will use the trials for His good.
So, after chasing this rabbit, I came to this conclusion:
In order to have peace, I must have joy. In order to have joy I must have trust. Therefore,
My Word for 2016: TRUST. What is your word for 2016?
Until next time,