A friend of mine is lamenting Christmas. He didn’t get everything he’d hoped for. In fact, this entire year is ending on a bit of a sour note for him.
Several months ago, he made the difficult decision to follow his dreams. He knew the road was going to be rough. It was. The approach of the Christmas season brought anxiety, since he wasn’t able to give as he had in the past. His family “suffered.”
But he is pursuing his dream. Each new day dawns with the promise that said dream will come true. He will accomplish what he set out to do. Like an inventor with a great idea, this man is daily transferring his dreams to reality. It takes work and tons of ambition to keep chipping away at the iceberg blocking the finish line, but he’s determined. And with that determination, comes doubt.
His lament is the voice of discouragement. I understand that. Many of us tend to let our energy drain out to the dredges during the final few weeks of the year. We simply endure Christmas, then try to drum up some excitement and expectation to face the new year. Sometimes we become so caught up in our own problems, we don’t realize that others have troubles, too.
Maybe you didn’t make your goals for 2013, so you’re discouraged about the year’s end. Maybe your Christmas was bleak and fraught with worry. There’s nothing new or weird or unusual about that. Here’s what a certain preacher had to say in the Old Testament:
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom.But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. (Lamentations 3:21-24, The Message)
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Get a grip on hope, because God’s promises are renewed every morning. Get some rest during these darker days of winter. Let God’s promises renew themselves in your spirit. As the days lengthen and the sun wakes the sleeping trees and plants and brings them back to life, you’ll wake up, too, with a renewed sense of purpose.
Most important of all, don’t give up. Stick with God––He’s all we’ve got left. But that’s like saving the best till last. He’s the Greatest and the Best. He’ll never let us down. His timetable may be different, but as long as we do our part, He’ll be there.
What is our part? Faith. Believing in Him and in His promises. Believing that He sent His only Son.
So for 2014, Believe. Anything is possible. You can win. You can make it. And what you’ll end up with––even if your hands seem empty––is a year’s worth of progress.