Well, it is that time when we say farewell to the old year. Depending on your perspective and circumstances as to whether you believe it was a good year. I have been doing some reflecting on this past year. I just spent a few moments reviewing some of the events and activities of 2019. There were several challenges, my wife was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery on January 30. There were other issues with our family and in our professional life that were challenging, and here at the end of the year, I can declare: “that God is faithful.” Each year is a mixture of both joy and sorrow, ups and downs, plusses and minuses, gains, and losses.

It really does not matter what happens in a given year, more important is what we do with what happens throughout the year. I was talking with a young man recently who had experienced a very tough event. In my conversation with him I told him something I have learned over the years. You can allow things that happen to cause you to be resentful, or you can enable them to teach you to be resilient. You decide! As I move through life, I want to become better, not bitter. At times this isn’t very easy to navigate. The Holy Spirit helps us to keep trusting and continue holding the Hand of God. My takeaway from the past year is through the good and bad days our faith is tested and strengthened. Faith is forged in the fire. Our life experiences are the anvil upon which our character and beliefs are hammered out. It is easy to make faith declarations in the sanctuary; it is another to stand bold and, at times, alone, and declare that we trust in God. We believe Him on the mountain as well as in the valley. He is God when the sun is shining, and when the storms arise. God is in control even when my life seems out of control. Our faith is not just proved through our blessings; we are blessed even when we have experienced the reverses of life.

I have no idea what 2020 will hold for you or me. Yet as I have for over 50 years, I will look to the Lord and rejoice in the God who is always there and who cares about me, and I will trust Him in 2020.

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