Are We Having a Happy New Year Yet?
by Peggy Fry
As you have probably heard me say many times, happiness depends on our circumstances, but true joy comes as we trust Him at every turn we take in life.
As a nation and in our own personal lives, we might feel — a little more than two months into this new year — like everything around us is in chaos. But remember: He holds everything in His hands, and with Paul we can say, “None of these things move me” (Acts 20:24 KJV). Our God can and does give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
2023 may not be a smooth path for the Church, either, but we do know the One in whom we believe and who has proven Himself faithful time and time again. Keep your armor on and your lamp of life full of the oil of the Spirit. We will all rejoice on the day when we hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23 NLT).
Here are some thoughts on Psalm 23 that I hope will be a beacon and a song of praise on our lips as we continue to progress through this year of 2023:
“The Lord is my shepherd” — That’s relationship
“I shall not want” — That’s supply
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures” — That’s rest
“He leads me by the still waters” —That’s refreshment
“He restores my soul [my mind, will, and emotions]” — That’s healing
“He leads me in His paths of righteousness” — That’s guidance
“For His name’s sake” — That’s purpose
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” — That’s testing
“I will fear no evil” — That’s protection
“For You are with me” — That’s His faithfulness
“Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” — That’s His discipline, out of His unconditional love
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” — That’s hope
“You anoint my head with oil” — That’s comfort
“My cup runs over” — That’s abundance
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” — That’s blessing
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” — That’s security…for eternity!
Three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an unstable economy, a mismanaged government, and a society going in so many wrong directions, you might wonder if there is any meaning to the day-to-day or any sort of certainty for the future. But take heart: Vision is what the Spirit is doing in the long-term. Purpose is what we do to carry out that vision in real time, each and every day.
Keep your eyes on the prize — spending eternity with Jesus
Keep your mind on the goal — knowing Him and being found in Him
So fill your mind with His love and His presence. And be blessed by Paul’s encouragement to the church in Ephesus:
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:19-21 NLT)
Blessings to you, dear ones!