Have you ever stopped to think that how you begin your day sets the stage for the next 24 hours? That doesn’t mean that life won’t get out of sync, but it does mean that your ability to handle those things come from a deeper place of resolve and peace.
The Gifts of 2020:
As I woke up January 1, 2021, my first thought was to thank God for His protection, His presence, and His provision in 2020. Was it an unusual, strange year? Without a doubt. But from the perspective that God makes no mistakes and is in control, I was still at peace. Was it convenient? No. Was it easy or pleasant? No. Frustrating? Yes. And yet in spite of the chaos, my year was characterized by some very sweet memories, great family times, and a closer walk with the Lord. He became the “bigger picture” for me. God answered countless prayers and ended my 2020 with several “God Winks” that were so precious they brought me to tears.
As I scrolled through social media earlier that morning, I particularly noticed all the comments about “2020 being gone—don’t let the door hit your backside,” etc. It’s as though people expected magical sparkling glittery dust to have been sprinkled over our lives and our country at the stroke of midnight, and everything would now be perfect.
That didn’t happen. Our country still overflows with moral decay and corruption seems to be on the rise, with fragmented families, broken homes, and the suffering and struggles of many. Thankfully, 2020 is gone; yet the reality is that none of us know what 2021 holds. So how do we face a future characterized by uncertainty and lack of direction? For me personally, I find that answer in Hebrews 11, known as the great “Hall of Faith” chapter in God’s Word. The word “faith” appears twenty-four times in this chapter.
The Gift of Faith:
As I prayed and asked God to make this chapter come alive for me, He directed me to several other passages that set the stage for my walk of faith. First, we find in Ephesians 2:8 that faith comes from God. There’s nothing we can achieve on our own. We are saved by grace, through faith, which is a gift from God. Second, Romans 10:17 tells us we find faith from the Word of God. The Bible says that our faith comes by us hearing His Word. Finally, Hebrews 13:7 tells us we find faith from the Man of God. This verse is directly related to Pastoral leadership. The Bible tells us that our pastor will have to give an account for us, about us, and do the same for himself. In that same chapter, God tells us to submit ourselves to our pastor for they watch over our souls.
The Gift of an Unchanging God:
Without a doubt, 2020 has redefined life for all of us and presented unprecedented challenges. At some point in time throughout the year you may have wondered, “Where is God in all of this? Did this take Him by surprise?” Assuredly, that did not happen. God is right where He has always been—unmoved, unchanging, all powerful, and sovereign. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can have faith because of who God is and we can trust Him with each new day. As I continue to read Hebrews 11 every morning, God is opening up for me new Truths from His Word.
The Three Rules of Faith:
I’d like to share three “rules” of faith that may be a help to you as they have been to me. The first rule is that faith is not logical. In Hebrews 11:7, we read where God told Noah to build an ark. That actually makes me smile. An ark? Because water is going to fall from where? The sky? It made no sense. And yet Noah obeyed, which saved his entire household. Although Noah had never heard of rain, he trusted in a God he knew was faithful.
The second “rule” we find is in Hebrews 11:37 where we learn that faith is not comfortable. Those who chose to follow Jesus were persecuted, beaten, and martyred for their faith. Yet they made a choice to follow the Lord even if it costs them their lives.
And last, but not least, the third “rule” appears in Hebrews 11:6 where God’s Word tells us that faith is not negotiable. The Bible tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Did you get that? Impossible. Nothing we can do will please God if we don’t have faith. Having faith isn’t optional. If we want to please God, faith is a necessity. Hebrews also tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
I want God’s favor on my life, and I want my faith increased. Do you? I refuse to be defined by the events of 2020 but rather by the influence I may have made in the lives of others whom God orchestrated to cross my path. God is worthy of our praise and our trust. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 65:24 (KJV) that says, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” That is such a comforting verse; knowing that God is already working things out on our behalf before we even come to Him with our requests. We can have faith that He’s in control and always has a plan in place, working things out for our good and His glory.
How to Grow Our Faith for 2021:
None of us know what 2021 will hold. But God does. Are you afraid? Worried? Fearful of the unknown? Feeling hopeless? In Despair? Nowhere to turn? Ask God to give you His peace and direction for the days ahead. Each day and all of our tomorrows are in His hands. There’s no need to worry; He is already there. We serve an awesome God Who is sovereign and loves us more than we can comprehend.
I have been reading Hebrews 11 every day along with my other studies. I would like to challenge you to do the same. God’s Word will give you strength and increase your faith. 2021 is a new year, a clean slate, a fresh start, and an opportunity to make a difference that will count for eternity. I choose to start the year with the Lord with a renewed commitment to let Him be exalted in my life. Will you join with me and do the same?
“No matter what the future holds, when you realize He is all you have; you will recognize that He is All you need. ” The Hallelujah House.Tweet
May your new year be filled with the goodness of God! Even in hard or bad times, He is still good-all the time; for His goodness is not measured by what transpires in our lives but rather by Who He is. Happy New Year to you all!
This is From My Heart~
For another article on faith: What God Showed Me
This article was written by Bonnie Lovelace, one of our newest additions to the writing team at The Hallelujah House. Bonnie is happily married to Hub, has two grown children, and currently resides in the Tidewater area of Virginia. When Bonnie is not writing she works as a Senior Office Manager, serves in her church, and enjoys public speaking. You can read Bonnie’s full bio on her writer page above.