Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
On this first Sunday of the new year, let us reflect on 11 important words that can help us experience God’s glorious favor this 2011.
We are not our own. Life is never about us. It will never be. When we allow our hearts to be filled with what God wants to accomplish in us and through us, things make sense and life becomes worth living.
People, even those we love and trust the most, will disappoint us. The sooner we accept this, the better. At the end of the day, it is only the Lord who offers us unconditional love and constant presence. It is therefore wise to put our absolute confidence only in him.
We are not invincible. We were never designed to be such. There is a limit to what we can accomplish. There is line we must draw between what we can do and what God’s power alone can fulfill. Only when that line is drawn can we push the boundaries of common sense and truly learn to walk by faith.
Pain strengthens faith and builds spiritual stamina. God brings forth the fires of trial to purge our imperfections; to make pure our every motive and intention; and to align us with God’s intentions.
We can never prevent storms from coming. But even in the midst of the greatest storms, those whose hearts are yearning for God, shall have the calmest of spirits. They shall hold on to God’s promises for they are convinced that everything shall surely pass.
When the going gets very tough, it’s tempting to walk away and make excuses for ourselves. But sometimes, we only need to be still and wait on the Lord to refresh us with new insights and fresh approaches to our situations and circumstances.
This year is like no other. Let us all declare a fresh word of faith in our hearts that by the grace of the Lord, new doors of opportunities shall open. Things do not have to remain the same. By the grace of Jesus, let us brace ourselves for exciting endeavors we never thought we could do and for new adventures that will strengthen our relationship with God like never before.
Until the day we breathe our last, we shall never be complete. It’s not wise to think we are “made” or that we are “done.” There are still mountains to conquer and valleys to endure. It is dangerous to rest on our past glories and previous conquests. When we start thinking this way, we become passé and irrelevant.
An attitude of gratitude towards God can go a very long way. Counting what we have instead of what we do not have shifts our minds away from ourselves. It moves us to see our abundance and realize that there is so much we can give and offer to those around us.
The joy we bring to our children … the words of appreciation we speak to our family… the encouragement we give to a weary friend… the sincere compassion we extend to those who have hurt us… the courage and resolve to put Jesus first in all that we do … these are priceless things that money cannot buy or replace. These are treasures that truly make us rich in the eyes of the Lord.
Prayer is not just the words we speak before God. It is the disposition of absolute dependence on the Lord. It is a posture of heartfelt humility and an attitude of contentment that with God, we can face the future with our heads up high.
God is good. He always is. He always will be. A glorious and Christ-filled 2011 to us all!