“You will keep in perfect [and constant] peace, He [the one] whose mind is steadfast [committed, focused –in both inclination and character] on You. Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” Isaiah 26:3-4 amplified
Peace, Hope, Confident Expectation. All words that I plan to carry into 2022 with me. But, let’s be honest, the last 2 years have been hard. As I sat down to reflect on the last 2 years, and as I looked back to see how the Lord has worked all things for my good, I was moved with compassion for those who feel defeated or less than hopeful for what’s next. To many, the last 2 years have been marked with so much loss and heartache. So many disappointments and so much fear. We, as a people, have been inundated with trauma after trauma, loss after loss, heartbreak after heartbreak. Some have lost family. Some have lost jobs. Churches have closed. Businesses have closed. Despair and fear have spread through humanity like wildfire. Relationships have been severed by disagreements. Compassion has been trampled by our own skewed ideologies about what is right or wrong, and our refusal to exalt others above ourselves. Questions, that seem to have no solid foundation and no valid answers flood our thoughts daily. Darkness seems to cover the Earth like a heavy blanket suffocating all of those beneath it. The cries for help get lost in the silence of corruption and in our lack of empathy for humanity. Let’s be honest, most would rather shout their opinions from the rooftops, than to get in the ditches with those who are lost, hurting, and broken to show them hope in the midst of chaos.
This post isn’t about your idea or right or wrong, vax or non vax, republican or democrat, Christian or atheist. Quite honestly, I don’t care what your stance on any of these topics are. And I seriously doubt I would change your mind with debate of my world view. But, please read this with understanding, that I am writing this as a believer, who will not apologize for my perspectives and position. I will not argue with you if you disagree.
This is instead, an invitation to be the difference the world needs. To love amid loss or fear because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). I would be disobedient if I didn’t take this as an opportunity to introduce you to the One who can teach you to walk in perfect peace in the midst of the waves, the wind, and the rain. I want to invite you into an eternal hope, that doesn’t change with circumstances or with grief. A hope that is as unchanging as it’s creator. I want to invite you into a place that IS love, IS freedom, IS life giving. One that IS peace, IS joy, and IS hope.
I can honestly tell you, that 2020 and 2021 have been filled with unexplainable peace because I have learned to rest in my Father. Sure, there were frustrations, there were challenges, there was loss that shattered my heart. But My Father is eternally good. My source doesn’t change. His faithfulness endures forever (Psalms 100 and 117 and many others) and His love covers a multitude of Sin (1 Peter 4:8). There is rest in the shadow of the almighty (Psalms 91). There is hope in His presence (Jeremiah 17:7-8). There is peace in the secret places with Him. I am not moved by what is happening around me, because of HIS steadfastness. My prayer is that neither are you.
To my friends who don’t share my perspective, know that you are loved more than you could imagine. Know that I am praying and hoping for you and for your families. Know that regardless of whether we agree or disagree, I care that you are well.
But To the church I say, rise up. May your hope and expectation increase as you keep your eyes on the Father. Stay the course, fix your gaze on Him, and be still as He fights for you (Exodus 14:14). Do not be distracted by rumors of war, by plagues of darkness, or by lies the enemy is whispering in your ears. Know the Word. If you are a child of God, you know His voice (John 10). So listen closely. Be still, wait, and know that He is GOD (Psalms 46:10). As a child of God, know that Christ died and defeated all of darkness in a moment (Colossians 2:15). We are simply waiting to catch up with eternity. You war from a position of Victory. God’s Will WILL be accomplished in the Earth, and you have a part to play in that. We must stand firm in who God has called us to be. We must trust the one who has spoken, and we must trust His love and his faithfulness regardless of what we see. Stand firm.
So, as we close out 2021, my hope is that you are secure in the arms of Christ. Steadfastly focused on the one who created you, eagerly anticipating intimacy and unity with the God of the Universe. I pray that peace, hope, and confident expectation rise within you and that they carry you into this next year. No matter what you’re facing going into 2022, God is bigger. Darkness only exists in the absence of light. So, arise and let your light so shine. Push back the darkness with the love of God that dwells within you. Be confident knowing that “Greater is He that IS WITHIN YOU, than he that is in this world.” 1 John 4:4
Peace and hope to you all,