Notes from the church lady: New year brings hope, expectation

" Yet I will rejoice in the Lord…The Lord God is my strength…he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:18-19

A new year is here with hope and expectation of good things ahead. Every year we look back on the previous events and lessons learned and anticipation of better things in the future. As I read last year's column I was struck how the Lord prepared me for what was in my future.

"Be strong and very courageous… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:7-9)

I was faced in 2012 with situations that normally would reduce me to tears. The Lord enabled me with strength that was not my own and I was able to accomplish amazing things.

The Lord already knows what will happen in 2013. While all of us wish for a happy new year, it is probable bad things will occur in our world, to us or our loved ones. In a sermon I heard from the book of Habakkuk, I learned how the people feared things that were about to happen to their nation. This was exactly what Satan wanted, people to throw in the towel.

It is important to know that God is in control despite the circumstances. As we saw last year there were unspeakable things happen in our world.

In 2 Timothy 3:1 we read, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."

Throughout history our world has faced war, famine, drought, and many more calamities. How can we expect it to be any different unless Jesus comes back this year?

Before you become too discouraged, take a look at the words of the Lord in Isaiah 43: "Thus saith the Lord that created thee… Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine… Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

The book of Isaiah contains so many promises including Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Like the motto of the boy scouts "be prepared," we also need to make preparations for the new year. Start now by praying and putting on the armor of God. Claim the Lord's promises that He will be with you, not to fear, and knowing He will renew your strength when you are at the end of your rope.

I wanted to write a light, uplifting column for the new year, but I was stopped by the Holy Spirit. It is my prayer that these words will help those who are discouraged or uncertain of the future. As it was in all of the old westerns with the good guys winning, we know the outcome of this world when Jesus comes again.

As it is quoted in 1 John 4:4, "… greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." I love a happy ending, don't you?

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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