It is pretty common at the start of a new year to make bold declarations about the year ahead. I believe that’s a good thing. One of the wonderful things God has given us is the ability to hope. Hope is a powerful thing; it is the fuel of faith which leads to the promise fulfilled.
Hope is the message of the Bible. One might ask, “Well, if God is God, why doesn’t He just will into being the answers we desire?” God does will these things, but we must partner with His will in faith. In simpler terms, it is God’s desire for us to be saved, provided for, but we must want it, hope for it, believe for it and move toward it expectantly.
Our faith actually brings what we need into being. Consider this: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5, ESV). Did you catch that?
The victory that overcomes… IS YOUR faith! These principles aren’t simply good for a new year, they are timeless, but it is good to remember that getting from where we are to where we want to go depends largely on our faith, not giving up when things get difficult; but consistently applying faith each day.
We all face difficulty. We will all struggle with frustration or worse, but Christ in us is more than enough for any challenge we face. What we say about our circumstances is very important. Are we offering praise to God in the middle of adversity, or are we complaining because things don’t look so good? These have an impact on the outcome. Often our year may be derailed along the way because we become distracted from our focus of faith.
I was reminded this week of just what that term means: “Focus of faith.” A woman attending our church told me about a financial concern she’d been carrying. She’d just bought a new home and, like so many, realizing all the extra costs associated, taxes, etc., began to worry whether there would be enough. During a worship service, as the music played, an opportunity to receive prayer was given. The woman came forward and made the conscious decision she would not focus on the problem, but on the Lord.
She then took a step of faith and gave a significant offering (to another ministry). Almost immediately, a financial miracle took place: she received a check in the mail that would cover the taxes and was informed that her mortgage would be $200 per month less than expected for the length of the mortgage! She could have continued to worry, attempting to figure things out on her own, but her faith was in God and God came through. He can do the same for you.
The next time you face a challenge, rather than talking to God about your challenge, talk to your challenge about your God.
Happy New Year!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.