These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 (KJV)
The other night on Christmas Eve I was doing what I usually do that night, which was wrapping presents after everyone had gone to bed. I remembered that I had stashed a few gifts for my wife at the office, so I walked down to the church to retrieve them. We had held a Christmas Eve service a few hours earlier and I went into the sanctuary to make sure that no lights had been left on and that the heat had been adjusted properly. The sanctuary was lit only by the light from the baptistery, which cast a soft and soothing glow. Even though I had gifts to wrap and was also looking forward to getting some sleep, I had to sit down and enjoy the quiet of the moment. There in the sanctuary alone, I did what I have done many times before, which was worship the Lord and give thanks to Him.
As I prayed and talked with the Lord, I was led to look ahead to the coming year. I began to pray that blessings would come into my life, my family, and the congregation. I began to envision this time next year some wonderful developments having come to pass. These included my wife continuing to be cancer free, my brother overcoming cancer and restored to health, my sons continuing to grow and make wise life decisions, my preaching and writing ministries flourishing, and the church experiencing unprecedented growth. As I prayed and thanked God I began to look ahead with great anticipation at the blessings the Lord will send our way.
My sincere prayer for you is that God will move in your life in wonderful ways in the coming year. Pray with me that the power of God will strengthen us, the Holy Spirit will guide us, and blessings of God will fall upon us. Be faithful, stand firm, resist the devil, and rejoice always and the result will be the power of God in our lives. Look ahead with me in anticipation at what the Lord has in store.
Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged, but remember that Christ our Savior has overcome the world. Through Jesus victory is ours and that victory is sweet.
Rejoice in the Lord!