Last year, the year 2020, was new to us all. We had many challenges and changes. Our country and our world were turned upside down you could say. Through having a pandemic, to having riots and a fraudulent presidential election to shutting down businesses and people losing jobs and income. From people being forced to stay home and where face masks when outside. Many people were hurt in many ways and are still hurting.
In these changes people have grown angry and depressed, they have grown intolerant and lost their self-control. I would not dare to assume what you have gone through, but I know that mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and even suicide has grown drastically over the last 11 months.
I’m here today to give a little hope in the now and the future. So how are we to move on and move forward in life after so many negative changes?
The Bible says in:
Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Hebrews 13:6 “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Listen, 365 times in the Bible it says “FEAR NOT”. I am pretty sure that if it says not to fear, that many times, then God is serious about not being afraid of the now or the future. The past we can do nothing about. But in:
2 Timothy 1:7 it says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Yes, last year was rough, but it is nothing compared to what it could be, and here in America, it is nothing like what it is in some countries around the world. It is definitely nothing compared to what we deserve as wicked sinners. We may feel like we are losing our rights, we may feel like our government doesn’t care as they only push an agenda, but God is ultimately in control.
My point is not to fear, not to worry, things were bad, but count your blessings. Maybe you have a home still, maybe you have food still, maybe you still have transportation whether that’s a personal vehicle or public transportation never stopped, maybe you have your health and are still alive. Maybe, just maybe you have none of this except being alive. Be thankful for what you do have. I guarantee you that there is someone worse off than you, worse off than me.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
What we need to do, is not forget the past, but not dwell on the past, let it teach us, and move forward. Just like any situation in life, we can either let it make us or break us. It is up to each individual how we choose to react and how we let it influence us moving foword.
I’ll give you a few quick examples from my life.
At the age of 10, I was bitten by a rottweiler. Mind you it was my fault, I was sneaking through the fence line in the back at my apartment to get to another apartment I was going to, instead of walking around the front. I could have from that point on been afraid of dogs or hated them, but no, it was only one dog that bit me, not all.
When I was 19, I was robbed by a black man while I was traveling and in a foreign city. He stole my wallet and I had no identification or money or anything. I could have just turned and hated all black people, but no, it was only one man regardless of his color.
I have been hurt by many females. I’ve been divorced, sadly. I have had a fiancé dump me because she was in love with her ex the entire time. I even had one girlfriend physically and verbally abuse me various times. I could swear off women forever, but no. It was those specific individuals that hurt me. I know God has a Proverbs 31 lady for me, in his timing.
We all have had plenty of good and bad experiences in life, and sadly us humans tend to remember and dwell on the bad ones; for example, someone I know had gotten the flu shot many years ago and got the flu so since then she has never taken the flu shot again. I know someone that refuses to go to any church because she was told she was going to hell because she has been divorced.
Just a quick note, no matter what you have done in life, you will ONLY go to hell if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your savior.
Back to the point, it is up to you as an individual person, what you make of life, how you perceive and react to any and all situations. As I mentioned last week, “Believing is Becoming”. When you believe things are bad, your attitude will show as such. When you believe God’s promises for your life and realize that you as a Christian saved by grace have a home in heaven, things don’t look so bad.
Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
When you keep your eyes on Jesus Christ and eternity in heaven, it makes life so much easier to maneuver through the mess of Earth and the problems of life. I recommend taking on this command as a personal dedication for your life:
Ephesians 6:10-11 says “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
How are you to continue on after 2020? Well, life doesn’t stop for pandemics, falsified election results, loss of liberty and a destroyed economy and country. So, what you must do is:
One: Do not fear the unknown and what this year will bring as things are changing. Remember, that God is ultimately in control. Humble yourselves, repent from your sins, and turn your eyes and heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Number Two: Do not look at the past and dwell on the mess that happened. Take a look and then learn from it and how you can grow as an individual and a group.
Three: Remember that things can be worse and be thankful for what you have and what you have made it through. Don’t forget to stay in your prayer closet throughout the day. No that doesn’t mean stay at home all day. It just means as it says in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse 17, “Pray without ceasing”.
Four: You must realize that no matter what others are doing around the country and world, you as an individual must make your own decisions and must answer for those decisions. You decide how your life will go by your thoughts and actions. Don’t let others decide by reacting in negative ways.
I challenge you all now, to take this week and think about what you went through last year and make a list of all the blessings you received through that mess. Then realize that it was not as bad as some make it out to be. Afterward, give praise to God for that list and for what he will do in your life this year.
Please check out my book.
Depression is something that most people experience at one point or another. During this time of life, life can be hard to live. Some people attempt to hide it from others, while others have trouble coping with life situations and have trouble with everyday tasks such as personal self-care.
This book will show how the author had gone through depression for many years and teaches how he allowed his faith in God to conquer that depression in his own life. These teachings are meant to help others overcome their own depression while letting them know they are not alone in their struggle.
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