Our office wall is covered with photos of people that have been a part of the shelter community during the past three years. I am filled with joy, when I look at these faces and think about what God has been doing in all of these people.
We always consider you a part of our Shelter family and we want to share this message with you, in order to encourage you in your 2018.
Perhaps you don’t feel very connected with God or community right now. You may be going through a really good time in your life or a really hard time. Maybe God feels very close or maybe He feels very distant. Whatever situation you are in, I want to encourage you. I want to give you something to hold on to.
Firstly, in Christ you have all you need! In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God says: “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness”. In this passage, Paul was asking God to remove difficulty in his life. Instead God responded by saying, I am enough! My grace is enough! Jesus lived on earth, died a criminal’s death, rose again from the grave and He is now seated on a throne next to the Father. Remind yourself everyday that these events are true and that you are part of God’s family. That you He does not let you go into any battle alone and you can rely on Him! When Paul heard this he responded by saying: “Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.”
Paul also speaks about keeping our focus heaven bound; that we are citizens of heaven. That is not something for us to consider later, that is something for us to dwell on right now. The writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 12:2: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Furthermore, God has an amazing plan for you! In Jeremiah 29:11, it states “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. If you are in a difficult time, hold on to this. If life is treating you well, hold on to this! God promises here that He has plans to give you a future and a hope, for good and not for disaster. These promises are for you! In Jeremiah 29:12, it continues by giving you a clue of how to do this, and how this plan and hope gets revealed in your life. “When you pray, I will listen”. This is what we need to do, we need to call, pray, seek and search after Him.
He is your future and hope. He is the one that is always listening and gives to His children. Seek after Him because He seeks after you! He came into this world as a baby for you, in order to give all His children a future and a hope in Him!
When looking forward to 2018, let us hold on to this: Jesus is all we need, He came to give us a future and hope. Let’s seek after Him with all we have for He is the champion who initiates and perfects our faith!
Have a very blessed and hopeful new year,
Hans and Marlies