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Sharing the Word: A Year Free of Stress!

By HARRY MARTINEZ

Columnist

 

A new year is here with its challenges and opportunities.  We live in exciting times, especially when we realize that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have a perspective concerning life that is eternal in nature.  Adversity will be a part of all of our lives yet, there is the assurance … “my grace is sufficient for thee” (II Cor 12:9).  How refreshing and comforting is the thought … “cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). This coming year will also be marked with times of great happiness and prosperity, for our loving Heavenly Father knows our frame and sees to it that showers of blessing fall on us at the appropriate times. Therefore, whether we find ourselves in adversity or in prosperity, we can know that our God intends it all for our spiritual blessing and growth. That is why the apostle Paul could issue the challenge to be content in our souls with what ever comes our way. Nothing that God allows to come into our lives comes without the grace to glorify Him in and through it. Realizing that God has a personal plan and purpose for us, fulfilling that plan becomes far more important to us than the details of life. We can rest in the full knowledge that just as the very hairs of our head are numbered, so the every day details of our life are in God’s thinking. He has known us before we existed; therefore there are no surprises before Him. Our privilege is to fulfill that plan, the Divine purpose that He desires to work in us so that Christ is seen in a world that needs the light of the glorious gospel. Therefore how we handle the challenges of life will reflect either God’s thinking at work in our life or unfortunately, the thinking of self, human opinion, thought and ability that factors God out of the equation. In writing to the Romans, Paul states that we are called according to His purpose.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28 NIV).  To the Christians in Ephesus, he wrote … “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).  Note that it is God who does the work; we are merely available vessels or instruments in the hands of the Master. When we have that perspective to the challenges and opportunities that come our way, we are able to rest in what God is accomplishing at that time in our life. That takes the pressure off of us; it puts the focus on our God who does all things well.  May we be faithful to walk in the path that God has designed for us this year, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep, and giving thanks in and for all things, making our requests known unto God in keeping with His will. The result will be individual peace, a peace that surpasses human understanding or comprehension and garrisons the soul.  “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.  And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”  (Php 4:6 TEV).