Friday, January 1, 2021
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As you reflect back on 2020, what did you not get?
Now you can answer that question from two perspectives. One would be the negative as you reflect on all the things you wanted but didn’t receive. You had goals that were unaccomplished. There were hopes and dreams that were unrealized. There were miracles you thought would come but weren’t in God’s plan. This perspective produces disappointment, discouragement, and maybe even despair.
You can also answer that question from a positive perspective. You could be thankful for all the things you didn’t receive. How many trips in the car did you make without an accident? How often were the weather reports wrong and you were protected from disaster? How blessed were you to not suffer financial loss? Imagine how many times you were protected from something far worse than what you consider to have been bad.
It is from the positive perspective that Mary sings the final verse of her song of praise for what the strong arm of the Lord has done.
Luke 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy…
Mercy is the act of not giving someone what they deserve. When I contemplate the blessings I have received in contrast to the condition of my heart, I am overwhelmed with the mercy of God. I realize that in the midst of all that went wrong last year, God helped me according to His mercy. Even though there were many hurts and losses, He withheld all that would have eternally hurt me. His mercy protected me from everything that would have caused me permanent loss. God’s mercy fulfills the promise of Romans chapter eight.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As you enter this new year, I pray that the perspective of life we choose will be the one where we see God working on our behalf to protect us from eternal loss. I pray that in every inconvenience we will see God directing that moment to guard us from something worse. I pray that when the temptation comes to focus on the pain of the moment, we will instead focus on the Presence of the Master.
As God said through the prophet Jeremiah, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
The Lord taught Jeremiah and Mary to praise Him while in the midst of lamenting the hardships of life. May we do the same in 2021.