A Word of Encouragement for the New Year
My Prayer for You
May you find encouragement and be greatly blessed as you walk with the Lord into the New Year.
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor
and give you His peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 NLT
We Can Be Sure of Three Things as we go into the New Year
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1. Temptations, trials, stress, and trouble will be a part of our lives in the coming year, especially in these End Times
These things are “common to man” and part of the human experience. We need encouragement in these times to be aware and not be taken by surprise (1 Peter 4:12-16). At the same time, we are “God’s Show Window to the World.” How we react in these times will influence other’s perception of God and demonstrate our trust – or lack of trust – in Him. “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” Ephesians 3:10.
2. God is faithful and will not allow us to have trouble beyond our capacity to bear it
Here is great encouragement. He has promised not to allow anything to come into our lives that is more than we can bear. Troubles have a way of making us bitter or better… and God uses them to mold our lives if we let Him. Remember Job? The Lord allowed him to lose everything – his possessions, children, and health. His wife could take no more. She too suffered great loss, especially the loss of their ten children. But the Lord did not allow satan to take away her health. She had as much as she was capable of taking. Whatever is going on in our lives, be assured the Lord has confidence that we can overcome in His strength and be victorious.
3. The Lord has given us the Key to Victory and Blessing
He has given us two weapons, in particular, to overcome any attack and find a way out of our dilemma. The Shield of Faith, a defensive weapon… and the Sword of the Spirit, an offensive weapon. If we use them effectively, this coming year will be one of victory, peace, and joy in the Lord. Faith helps us BELIEVE God’s Promises. The Sword of the Spirit helps us APPLY them.
The Bible tells us that humans are attacked in three areas – body (the self-conscious part of our being), soul (mind – the world-conscious part of our being), and spirit (the God-conscious part of our being). 1 John 2:15,16 calls these three areas “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”
What is the Key to Victory?
The Key is the inspired Word of God – The Sword of the Spirit. We know the Bible is 100% inspired – both Old and New Testament. “ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The Lady who ignored the Key and lost the battle
Eve, the wife of Adam, knew the Word of God. He said specifically they were not to eat of the fruit of a particular tree in the Garden of Eden. satan challenged her. “Did God (really) say that? Her reply revealed she found the tree very appealing. She added to God’s Word. “Yes,” she said, “He said don’t eat and don’t touch.” Her interest was aroused, “the flesh” desperately wanted that fruit.
Again satan confused her. “Don’t worry, you won’t die.” He deliberately cast doubt on God’s Word and assured her there would be no consequences. Her mind quickly accepted that as truth. He lied. We know that from experience.
Then he went for her spirit. “Be your own god.” Who needs God when you can “do it your way”? She was hooked. She ate and influenced Adam. We always take others with us, don’t we? We certainly don’t need that type of encouragement.
Tempted in body, soul, and spirit, Eve lost the battle. What happened? She did not use the Sword of the Spirit – the direct Word of God -to fight satan . That would have stopped the discussion right there.
The One Who used the Key and was Victorious.
Of course, that was Jesus. He put aside His divinity temporarily (Philippians 2:5-10). When satan tried the same trick, what did Jesus do? He simply pulled out the Sword of the Spirit and applied it effectively. “It is Written,” He thundered three times.
God said it – I believe it – That settles it.
No wonder satan tries to snatch the Bible away from believers! So many discard the Old Testament and barely take notice of the New Testament. Does it surprise you to know that the Lord Jesus Christ quoted the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy each time He said, “It is written”? Here is great encouragement to read and meditate on the whole Bible.
He believed in the supernatural power released when God’s Word is spoken in faith. So did satan, and he fled.
Become People of the Book
In order to successfully traverse the minefields of the Way Ahead in the New Year, we must become familiar with the Word of God. May I encourage you to take seriously the daily reading of God’s Word? Study, meditate, pray it in, read it aloud, share… and live it. Use it as an offensive weapon against the enemy in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Make a Start Today
Download the free N.T. Reading Plan and follow it daily. It will take you through the New Testament in the order the books were written in just 260 days. Your life will be changed from the inside out as the Word enters your conscious mind and permeates your subconscious mind.
The O.T. Reading Plan is also freely available. Follow this plan after you complete the N.T. Or, read the N.T. in the morning and the O.T. in the evening. You will be richly fed and experience God’s blessing in ways you could never have imagined.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, [God’s Word]
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.”