Hello, friends and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is going well for you all so far. I’m looking forward to what this year has in store for you and for me … I know God is going to do good stuff in all our lives! =)
Back at the beginning of 2014, out of the blue, before I even knew that having a “word of the year” was actually a real “thing”, God spoke the word “wait” over my year. And so I waited. I didn’t know what exactly I was waiting for, but waiting was a huge part of my year. It was a character quality that I had to learn a lot about that year, especially in regard to my health, and it wasn’t until the end of that year that I began to see the fruit of waiting. It was definitely worth it. =)
The following year, 2015, I was so excited about the word God put on my heart for the new year: hope. I was walking in the clouds and then reality hit and I must tell you that 2015 was one of the hardest years I’ve experienced. I felt more hopeless than I’d ever felt before and I kept looking for the hope, searching for it, and I couldn’t find it. The thing is, I was looking for it in the wrong places instead of in my Savior. Again, it wasn’t until close to the end of that year at my church’s Women’s Retreat that I finally was able to let go of what I’d been holding on to and hold on to the hope I’d been desperately looking for.
Following retreat, I recognized as I went home that I would need to be extra diligent to not fall back into old patterns of thinking and be faithful to walk in the truth and stand strong against lies I had believed. I knew that I would need a resolute spirit. So as 2016 began, I was not surprised when my word for 2016 was revealed: steadfast.
Steadfast – to be firm, be stable, be established
I thought the weeks following retreat were challenging, but as soon as I knew my word and the new year began, I came under a barrage of missiles from different directions. I can’t tell you how many times the word “steadfast” has echoed in my heart and mind in just the few short weeks of this new year. I have found myself very disheartened, discouraged, in tears, broken-hearted, realizing that I’m not strong enough for what I am facing on my own. I have been noticing more and more that my battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. I have had to make an effort to recognize that my enemy is not a person, but is the devil himself. And so with that knowledge, I have stood my ground and fought on my knees, praying scripture, and asking God to please help me. I am in the middle of a spiritual battle and giving up is not an option. But I am very tired and part of me would like to just give up and not fight any more.
I loved yesterday’s devotion from Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. It ministered to and encouraged my heart more than I can say and I thought it might encourage someone else:
“Elisha said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. —2 Kings 6:17
This is the prayer we need to pray for ourselves and for one another, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see;” for the world all around us, as well as around the prophet, is full of God’s horses and chariots, waiting to carry us to places of glorious victory. And when our eyes are thus opened, we shall see in all the events of life, whether great or small, whether joyful or sad, a “chariot” for our souls. Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such; and, on the other hand, even the smallest trial may be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we so consider them. It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be. It all depends, not upon what these events are, but upon how we take them. If we lie down under them, and let them roll over us and crush us, they become Juggernaut cars, but if we climb up into them, as into a car of victory, and make them carry us triumphantly onward and upward, they become the chariots of God. —Smith”
Boy, did that help me get a proper perspective on what I’m experiencing right now! These difficult places can be places of glorious victory, but so much of it depends upon me and how I look at things. Will I look upon them as God’s chariots and horses of deliverance with a definite victory in the future, or will I just get bowled over with defeat and discouragement by the Juggernaut?
Juggernaut! Haha! I love that word! Sometimes you find vocabulary gems in old writings! I actually looked this word up, because I’d never heard it used before. In my defense, it is primarily a British word, and this devotional was put together over 100 years ago. ;)
Juggernaut – a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path
Yup. That explains a lot. :P
I’m hoping it will not take this whole entire new year for my heart to develop this steadfast spirit that I am lacking in currently. I hope that this character trait is something that develops more and more in my heart this year and is something that I grow and mature in and see progress in as the year continues. Please keep me in your prayers if you think of me, friends! May your new year bring you closer to Jesus and deeper in love with Him! =)
Learning to be STEADFAST,