2019 - New Year, New Season {Chelsey Duda}

2019 New Year

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Welcome 2019 - it is the start of a new year again; this means new resolutions. Some of you will have had a wonderful 2018, with a heart full of gratitude and many blessings to show for. Some of you will hope and pray that 2019 is nothing like the horrible year you just had.

It is EASY to praise, worship and thank God when life is going your way. When your plans are perfectly aligned with your desires, when everything just falls into place for you. When you have a year of so many good and positive things happen in your life; it is EASY to be grateful, happy and feel successful.

It is HARD to praise, worship and thank God when nothing in your life is going your way. When you try and try for something and continuously feel like you fail or get rejected. When you feel lost with no clear purpose/direction. When bad news seem to happen over and over, and life feels like a constant struggle. When you feel like you are going around the same mountain endlessly.

It is EASY to become discouraged, feel hopeless and defeated. It is EASY to get down on yourself and feel shame, guilt, and unworthiness.

It is HARD to have hope in the promises of the Bible and believe they are true for you too.

I have personally experienced and felt all of the ‘HARD’ circumstances of 2018. To anyone who is glad 2018 is over, I can relate. To anyone who feels an ounce of a silver lining for 2019, I can relate.

In my toughest battles; the Holy Spirit reminds me of my faith. My faith that is being tested and refined. As scripture says: “so that the authenticity of your faith--more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:7

I could give up trying, I could give up hope, I could give up my faith (trust). I could allow my overwhelming feelings of defeat to actually defeat me. To feel powerless over my uncontrollable circumstances in life. But as I am typing up this article, I am reminded of my faith.

I am reminded of what God’s word says and of His promises. I am reminded of TRUTHS. Truths that set the soul free.

In Ecclesiastes 3:8, it says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,

   a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3     a time to kill and a time to heal,

   a time to tear down and a time to build,

4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,

   a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6     a time to search and a time to give up,

   a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7     a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8     a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

I am reminded that there is a time for everything and for a reason that God appointed. I am reminded that there is a time for positive and negative circumstances, experiences and events in life. I may not know why, because my human mind cannot understand the will of God. But, what I do understand and what gives me hope is that for every moment or season in life that is negative, there will always be a positive experience that comes along. God appointed ‘times and seasons’ for every activity in our lives. The dark days will not last forever. This gives me great hope, truth and strengthens my faith when it is being tested with trials in life.

Here in Lamentations, scripture says, “22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

God’s mercies are new every single morning, so not just for a new year, but every single day because of his mercy (compassion) for us.

When I think about this verse, it may be difficult to see the truth in this. But if I search deep enough, I do see it. I see how little gestures of light can be brought into a bad day if I just look for them and actually appreciate them. It may come in many different forms, it could be from a friend taking their time out of their day to do something kind for you, to help you out with your burdens. If you search your heart, you can see God’s mercies in your everyday life, even through the struggles.

I want my faith to be true and in order for it to be true, the Bible says it will be tested. We are not called to only praise, worship and thank God in our triumphs. We are called to still praise, worship and thank God in our troubles.

If I can remember to actually do this for God in obedience out of love and trust in His word; then I have all the hope I need. I will have the confidence I need when God finally does answer my prayers and chooses to bless my life abundantly.

Even more so, my faith in God will be solid. As a Christian what more could we want than to know we are saved for all of eternity and what better way can we bring God true glory than when we continue to love Him even when we are walking through the valleys.

So continue to praise God through the valleys and on the mountain tops. For there is a time for everything on earth and nothing here lasts forever. It is guaranteed in life that we will ALL go through the valleys and we will ALL be on the mountain tops for some time. It is what we do on that journey that counts for all of eternity!

*I would love to hear your New Years resolutions, and outlook on life, feel free to comment below :)

{Written By Chelsey Duda}