Some say “the universe”, some say “fate”, some say “karma”, some say “luck”, some just shake their heads and say “whatever, it’s all good”. But the absolute truth is that God, who created everything with His spoken Word, sent His Son Jesus, the Christ, to live and then die as a sacrifice for our sins. The death of Jesus has opened the door for eternal life for all who believe in Him.
You may scoff, roll your eyes or secretly think I’m a whacko but the only resolution that can actually change your life forever is faith in Jesus Christ. I love all who read this because Christ gave me the power to love you. Nothing in all the world is as important as having faith in Christ as your Savior.
To sum it up, when I think of wishing everyone a Happy New Year my thoughts run to the singular most important decision we can all make as outlined in the New Testament, in the Book of Romans, chapter 10 verse 13: “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!”
“The Journey Begins – Marvelous Journey” by Dehong He, 2006
Charles Stanley –Our Trials: Allowed by God
1 Peter 1:3-9
Some people have the wrong idea about the Christian life. Once they become believers, they expect smooth sailing. Yet Jesus made it clear that troubles are inevitable for God’s children. His own life was no exception: He endured false accusations, rejection by His own people, and betrayal by a close friend—to name just a few.
As His followers, we can expect difficulty. The cause of tribulation differs with each circumstance. Some problems arise from the fallen nature of the world, while others result from satanic warfare. And we can cause our own heartache from ignorance, sin, and poor decisions. There’s also another possibility—sometimes God Himself brings trials. While this last option is difficult to accept during a painful time, the Lord never brings hardship unless He has a beautiful purpose. And He gives strength to endure.
Remember, God allows struggles—whatever their source—for our benefit. Perhaps they are to purify and grow us for greater service. Maybe He has in mind to test our endurance and devotion to Christ, thereby strengthening our trust. Or He might be revealing His sustaining power. This side of heaven, we may never know the cause of each challenge. But we can trust God’s ability to deliver and mature us.
What trials are you facing? Jesus understands your pain, and He longs to be the One you cling to through good times and bad. You can choose to look elsewhere for comfort, or you can use your hardship as a source of growth. No matter how painful the trial seems, don’t waste the opportunity.
CARVAGGIO: SUPPER AT EMMAUS (1601)
Luke 24:19-32 ~New Living Translation (NLT)
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Excellent film, word for word from the Good News Bible.