As I take some time to digest and process all the events of this year, I am thankful that I serve a God full of mercy and grace. Unfortunately, much of this year was filled with anxiety, worry, and unrest. I wish there was a time machine to go back and prepare the young 2016 Aaron of the lessons I know now.
Since I cannot go back, the least I can do is warn and encourage others who will face the same giants in 2017.
Listed below are the top 4 truths I've learned this year:
God's faithfulness has no limits
If you're a frequent churchgoer you probably hear and sing of God's faithfulness every Sunday. This is a great reminder, but it can easily go in one ear and out the other. Let me remind you once more, (say this out loud with me), "God is faithful."
There is no end to God's faithfulness. Because God is eternal, this means that all of His characteristics and attributes are eternal as well. God cannot and will not stop being faithful to His Word and His promises for His people.
Take heart today. God is faithful, even when we are unfaithful. (2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 13).
God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I ask or can think
Don't be so foolish (like me) by trying to explain/ put God into a box. This year, I have seen God do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask or think! I have seen Him provide financially, emotionally, and physically in very unusual ways.
God is God. This means that you and I cannot always explain with our human logic, God's sovereign hand.
It's okay to not understand everything. Just understand that God is able! He is God, after all.
God is good to me
We always hear of God doing amazing things in other people's lives and we can easily forget that God is also good to us individually. Remind yourself today that God is good to you too. If you cannot see His divine and gracious hand in your life right now, ask God to give you understanding. He will show you His goodness.
Remember too, that God's good for our lives rarely mean our personal comfort. God's idea of good is the cross. (Wait, what?) But, without the cross, we cannot have eternal life. This is the same for us. Many times, God uses difficulties to mold and shape us into better reflections of Himself.
Take time today to reflect on God's goodness. He truly is good to all of His children.
The simplicity of "yielded-ness"
To yield to something is for to put yourself on hold and let the other object pass by. When it comes to our relationship with God, we are to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Practically, this looks like you as child of God, waiting for instruction from God, receiving it, then moving in obedience.
The more I walk with God, the more I realize that it's more about God and less about me. The fruitful, victorious, and powerful Christian life is the life that is yielded to God.
Looking forward to 2017
Until the Lord calls us home, let us remember these four simple truths. Let's not repeat my/our same mistakes. Let's have the attitude of Paul in Philippians chapter 3 verses 13-14,
"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Onward, Christian, onward!
Aaron serves in Murrieta, CA and is a pastor at Cross Culture Ministries and is also the director of On The Edge.
Aaron Sabio's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aaron-sabio.html