Thank God and have Courage
By Pastor Donald Parker
Approaching the end of an era in life has moments of excitement as well as moments of fear. For example, a college student who has completed the first semester of school now faces the second semester. Completing the first semester was exciting; facing a new one, brings worry, fear and uneasiness.
An employee who finally reaches retirement and ends his/her relationship with their longtime employer; the idea of retirement brings excitement and freedom. While the idea of not seeing their boss and co-workers that they have spent decades of their life with brings sadness and the feeling of loneliness.
A young newly married couple that finds themselves with a promotion in their jobs but has them moving to another city. The idea of the promotion and increase in pay is exciting; but the idea of moving away from friends and family brings discouragement and anxiety.
For all of us there have been times in our lives when we’ve had to say goodbye to someone or something, the same is true concerning the end of another year. As we begin this new era in life, this New Year, Christians need to always remember all that God has done for them and give Him thanks for His faithfulness.
His faithfulness is encouragement for us. We need to remember all God has done in our lives in 2019. How He provided for us. How He gave us strength and comfort during difficult times. The peace and joy He provides. When we remember God’s goodness and faithfulness, we should give Him thanks. In doing so, we can look forward with faith and hope for what He will continue to be, and continue to do in 2020.
With the start of a New Year, let me give you just a couple of ways you can give God thanks and have courage as you face 2020. First, you can give God thanks and have courage, because God remains the same.
One thing for certain that we can be thankful for is that God does not change. Malachi 3:6 says; “I the Lord do not change.” People change – circumstances change – Government changes – life changes – but we can have courage and be strong in our faith that God will remain the same. He is consistent and faithful.
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We as Christians can face the uncertainty of a new era – a New Year, and be encouraged by knowing that God has not changed his character – his purposes – his promises – nor his provisions.
Second, you can give God thanks and have courage because God’s Word provides nourishment.
1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV) says; “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, (3) now that you tasted that the Lord is good.” In order for us as Christians to grow, we must crave the Word of God.
You don’t have to tell a baby when to eat; they know when they’re hungry and you are going to hear about it. You also won’t find an infant only eating one big meal on Sunday morning to last them the whole week. Babies eat every single day to get the nourishment they need and the strength they need to grow, and Christians need the same. We need a steady diet – a daily diet – and the application of God Word in our lives to help us grow. God’s Word is our perfect nourishment that helps us grow to be strong Christians.
I want to challenge you to read God’s Word daily. If you don’t have a Bible, please stop by the church office I will gladly give you one. If you regularly read your Bible in 2019, you can give God thanks for his guidance and comfort, and you can face 2020 with courage that God’s Word will provide you with guidance in times of uncertainty – strength for times of weakness – wisdom concerning directions in you life – comfort in times of trouble – and encouragement to persevere.
To learn more about God’s Word and his love, goodness and faithfulness, come join us Sunday mornings at 11am. First Baptist Church, Van Horn – A Place to Belong!