Felista is one of the guest bloggers for PDB and I loved the post she is sharing with us this December. It’s perfect for the Christmas season! She reminds us that God has already done the work and He is continuing to work in us, no matter what our circumstances.
As the year draws to a close, it’s common practice to take time and reflect on the year that has been; the experiences, decisions and mistakes; the good and the bad. We take stock and tally our achievements and our failures. Sometimes the failures seem to outweigh the achievements. There are more mistakes than good decisions. The hard times are more than the good times. We see our foolish mistakes in glaring lights and we beat ourselves up and think how life would be better if we had just done things differently.
Can I offer some encouragement?
Jesus has been with you through the year; He knows the whole story. And He wants you to know something: it will all work out. Every hard time you’ve had; every mistake you’ve made; every bad decision. All of it! It will work out – it is working out even now – because He says so; in Romans 8:28:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (KJV).
He is working all those kinks in your life for your good and for His glory. He is turning your story around even now. All those things that don’t look good, those things that aren’t good? Turn them over to Him, and watch Him make something beautiful of your life. It may take a little time; the wait may be long and the pace may be slow. But trust Him. He will not change course. He won’t get tired of you; He loves you even when you make the same mistakes over and over again.
He sees your confusion and He understands your frustration. But He wants you to trust Him and wait on Him. Even now, things are coming together. Even now, He’s working in your heart; making you more like Him. He’s pruning you; taking away the dead stuff, the sick stuff, the stuff that’s not of Him. It’s painful, but hang in there; in His perfect time, He will show you the full picture and you’ll see that everything you’re going through right now will be worth it; the joy will outweigh the pain.
So as the year closes remember that God loves you unconditionally. Remember that even now, God is working in you and through you to create a beautiful story out of your life. Remember that the mistakes you’ve made this year don’t define you. Remember that failure isn’t in falling, but in staying down. Remember that the victory is already won! Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise. Remember that God already knows your weaknesses, and that His strength is made perfect in them. And remember that after every ending, there is a new beginning, a fresh start. And when the enemy whispers your faults and failings, remind him that you are loved and accepted by God, and that all things are working together for good. Your life may be messy right now, but out of that mess God is creating a masterpiece.
And as we prepare for the New Year, don’t throw away the lessons learned from this year…especially the lessons learned in hardship. God never wastes a season or an experience. Everything you go through in life has a purpose. Plan for the year, but keep an open mind and heart; you never know what God has in store. And if you’re still in the same season as we cross into 2015, remember that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)