Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. A brand new YEAR!!!
Happy New Year! What a beautiful new day and a new year representing a new start and filled with fresh doses of hope.
Hope for clarity. Hope for things to shift and change. Hope for revival of our nation. Hope for the gospel of Jesus to transform the hearts and lives of the ones we love..
A new year brings the promise of new beginnings and new chances to move forward expecting the Lord’s goodness to manifest in every area of our life.
Each year, I pray about a Word from God to carry into the new year. A Word that I can cling to in the challenges of the year, grow in some way, and draw closer to God.
Here is last year’s post with my Words from the past 3 years.
What I want to reflect on today is my word from 2021 and how for most of the year, I felt the complete opposite of my word.
I started out the year with gusto, and my word was “fervent”. I wanted to draw near to God with passion and seek Him in deeper measure.
I began the year fasting and praying. I started the year memorizing scripture. I started the year strong, and then hit what felt like a desert.
I felt a physical wall between me and the things that I had been doing like rising early and writing.
I was parched and couldn’t seem to get a spiritual drink.
Jesus had it there for me. He never moved or wavered. But I physically couldn’t get up in the morning to pray.
I struggled to stick to my Bible reading plan even though I had a reading routine that had been solid for a few years.
My prayers felt empty and I felt confused.
I continued to feel His Presence at church and during our home Bible study.
But the fervor and the fire that I was seeking felt more like a weak ember.
We were ministering each week to the homeless during this season, and that was taking alot out of me. The spiritual warfare felt heavy. Each time we went out into the homeless camps, we were in enemy territory. I felt the darkness. But the people were worth more to us than any fear that tried to hold us back.
And then like adding a tornado into a hurricane or gasoline on a fire where a bleak situation becomes dire, the enemy sent a firey arrow my way.
I was already weakened by my daily struggle to get into the Presence of God and be filled with His Power and His Word.
I was already wandering in a desert of sorts.
And then my Maxwell got hit by a car during our family ministry in a homeless camp. And I believe the enemy thought for sure that weapon would prosper into anger, fear, hopelessness, or loss of faith.
I crouched down next to my Maxwell in a weak spiritual state. I had gone to the altar that very morning and cried out to the Lord about my desire to serve Him with fervor. And now a few hours later, I am holding my best friend who has had his life taken too soon. And I recited the verse, “No weapon formed against you will prosper.” And I asked God right then, “How can that verse be true? This weapon prospered. I’ve lost my boy. He’s gone. The weapon prevailed.”
And that was how I felt for quite some time afterwards, but there’s a danger in changing doctrine when faced with the experiences of life.
You see I believe the whole Bible to be true in its entirety. Cover to cover. Every word. If any part is false, then how do we know to trust the rest?
So friends, when life doesn’t match scripture, don’t explain your temporary experience by concluding that there is a fallacy in scripture. That is a tactic straight from the pit of hell. It’s meant to divide you away from the very One who can save you in whatever situation you are facing.
The enemy shoots an arrow at you or your family. Sometimes, it’s in the form of a tragedy, sometimes a temptation that you fall for. And then, when the arrow is shot, he is right there to speak lies into your ear.
How could a good God let this happen?
How could that promise of God really be true when you’re experiencing this?
Did God really say it was wrong to engage in that?
And so, I was struggling with this passage of scripture that no weapon formed against me would prosper. And I took my hurt, my confusion, my anger, my questions straight to the throneroom.
I am a daughter of the King of the Universe and because of my sonship through Christ, I am an heir with rights. I can approach the Lord with bold reverence.
So in my bathroom behind a locked door, I would get down on my knees or even lay face down and with tears pouring down my cheeks, I would say, “I trust You Jesus. I trust You. I still trust that You are good.” And then I would be honest and open and vulnerable about the hurt. “LORD, it feels like this weapon prospered against me. You promised no weapon would prevail, but my Maxie has died. Lord, it hurts. I am in so much pain, and I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Help me. Help me Jesus.”
And I cried out that prayer many times. I would ask God for help in understanding that scripture in the midst of deep loss.
And slowly my heart began to heal, and God revealed to me that the weapon the enemy shot was the death of my Maxwell. BUT it DID NOT prosper.
The prospering part is not the trauma itself, it is what happens AFTER the trauma, loss, heartache.
When I ran into the arms of Jesus and chose Him as my strong tower, the weapon could NOT prosper. It could NOT take hold..
If Maxwell’s death wasn’t the prosper part, then what would it look like for the weapon to prosper?
I believe that to allow doubt to take root and grow is an example of a prospered arrow.
To be gripped by fear and choose to never minister to homeless populations again would be a prospered arrow.
To begin to believe that that portion of scripture wasn’t true or at least wasn’t true for me would be a prospered arrow..
To lose my trust that I serve a good, good Father who is for me in all seasons would be a prospered arrow.
And that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He is the prince of this world temporarily and he seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. And when he takes something we love, he then uses the hurt to try to divide us from God.
And the Lord is the place where healing, comfort, wound dressing, affirmation, and strengthening takes place. The Lord is the VERY place where the weapon loses all its power.
So when we suffer great loss, or one of our children chooses a lifestyle counter scripture, or the promises of God don’t seem to be manifesting in our lives, the place we will find shelter, clarity, and a fresh dose of His abundant love is in His Presence.
We cling to EVERY word of scripture and view our circumstances through the Word regardless of what we experience.
The danger of taking circumstances and viewing scripture through that lens instead is that circumstances are temporary and the Word of God is eternal.
Pain and suffering are temporary, and Jesus told us we would have trouble. But then He added. “Take heart, I’ve overcome the world.”
Friends, life is haaaard. Painful situations arise, confusion hits, culture tells us the scriptures aren’t for modern day.
We need His Perfect Word to survive this hour and come out triumphant in the end.
Even when it doesn’t make sense, cling to the Promises and the guidance in the Bible cover to cover.
Jesus tells us that those who do build their houses on rock and the storms of life will not over take you. He never promised there wouldn’t be storms, but he DID promise they wouldn’t prevail.
You will survive the deep hurt. You will come through the fire. Your family will be okay. The Lord will not allow the weapon to prosper when you run to Him for healing and safety. He is faithful and He will keep every single promise to His people.
And how did the year end in regards to my word for 2021?
By the GRACE of God, I feel the fervor!!!
The fire for Him is a wild fire in my soul. The Word “fervent” WAS for me even when I didn’t feel it or see it.
As I reflected on 2021, these are some of the victories or mountain top experiences!
At the close of 2021, I watched Jesus raise a man from the dead!! (That was in my last post!)
I survived the fire that was meant to consume me.
In the depth of the deep, searing pain, I learned to race into His Arms and find a peace and comfort that the world cannot offer.
I held my grandma and spent time with her for the first time in 7 years.
The Lord strengthened my faith even in the desert.
The Lord revealed Himself to me as exceedingly, abundantly gooood even when I was hurting, confused, and mourning great loss.
Did you have a Word for 2021? Was it what you expected? How did that Word carry you through the year? Please share! I would love to hear your reflections!
Next blog post, I will share my Word for 2022.
Dear Heavenly Father,
What an amazing Redeemer you are! Redeemer of things lost. Redeemer of New Hope. Healer of broken hearts and shattered dreams. Sustainer through ALL seasons. A good, good Father at all times no matter the fire we walk through on this earth. Thank You for Your mercy on my life and Your continual grace that carries me from glory to glory, mountaintop to mountaintop. You are the One who has never ever left my side and never forsaken Your promises over my life. Lord, strengthen our trust in Your Holy Word and keep us, Your people hungry for the truth of Your Holy Scriptures and help us to build our lives on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ and His unchanging Word.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Blessings to each of you my friends!