Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012! What's to be Happy About?

A friend posted on Facebook yesterday (basically), 2011 you haven't been very kind to me so get on out of here!
What was 2011 like for you? Did you have financial troubles? Were you deceived? Did you lose your job or your home? Did someone steal from you? Did your husband or wife walk away or die? Did someone you love die? Do you feel like a fool because you acted foolishly? Are you losing your hearing or your sight? When you look in the mirror today do you see a much older, more tired you than you remember seeing just a short while ago? Are you depressed and crushed in that battle? Did you learn you have a terminal or crippling disease in 2011?
That's a pretty horrible list, isn't it? Perhaps you fit more than one category on this list! I have a very dear friend who actually fits a number of these categories all in 2011. All the circumstances listed above are terrible, horrible, no-good and very bad! No one wants to meet up with any of these things in any dark alley!
Well, I have the best news! I am telling you confidently and truly that even tho' it may seem like THE END if you face even one of these horrendous life circumstances that ........ it is NOT the end!
You may wish it were the end but it is NOT the end! It is 2012 - a NEW year - and you came into 2012 with the same broken heart you had in 2011. How can I be so sure this is GOOD news? Because I know Who God is and I know for absolute certain that He shows up in any and all of these terrible, awful, no-good, very bad circumstances of life! AND God does more than just show up! He doesn't sit on His hands! He comes to participate in these terrible, awful, no-good, very bad circumstances that seem like the sentence of death! He NEVER comes to shake His finger in your face making you feel all the worse and more desperate. He comes to you with love and a hug. He whispers in your ear that He does indeed understand. He knows and cares and acted upon His love for you and me over 2,000 years ago when He brought His Son into our time and space - into our neighborhood - into skin just like ours. God demonstrated His love in the most graphic, radical, compelling way He possible could: He sent His Son to live the life you and I never can ( a perfect life) so that His Son Jesus could die the death that you and I could never die (the death of a perfect life willingly laid down). Jesus lived and died JUST for these desperate kinds of circumstances of life! Jesus lived and died for all the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad days in 2011 (or any other year!)! Jesus lived and died for all the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad days to come in 2012! AND that's GOOD news because Jesus conquered death when He walked out of His borrowed tomb on a mountainside outside Jerusalem, Israel on the first Easter Sunday morning over 2,000 years ago! He is alive!
The poet King David wrote thousands of years before Jesus came to earth, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me! (Ps. 23:4) These words, this confident confession express healthy faith! This kind of faith acknowledges the dark, deadly, desperate places we have to walk through but also affirms that we do not walk alone! How do I know that? Because Jesus lived and died and came back to life to make it so! If you doubt, if it's ever so hard to believe it can possibly be true for you - remember that God always keeps His promises!
God says to you this New Year's Day 2012: I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11) AND HE WILL! You can take that to the bank!

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