Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
~ Romans 5:3-5
2015, what a ride. To say that it was a roller coaster would be an understatement; this year had many highs and many lows, and an ever-present constant:
The Lord is Faithful. Loving. Present.
2105 was one of the hardest years of my life and yet because of the Lord’s faithfulness, one which I grew the most and thus it became one of my best years of my life. This year was one which brought suffering, that turned into endurance, that ultimately produced hope, and the Lord was at work in every aspect of it, even lovingly working before hand to prepare me when I had no idea what was coming.
Last December, I was privileged to preach at a church back in my hometown, and the main passage of the message was Hebrews 11:8-16; looking at how Abraham and Sarah never returned to where the Lord called them from because their eyes were focused on where the Lord was calling them to. Application being the truth that we too have been called to a promise land, that this is not our home and there is coming a day when we as believers will be with the Lord for all eternity. So whether 2105 is the best or worst year of your life, there is coming a day when it will be better and we will be with Him.
Little did I know, but the Lord was driving that deep into my heart as I studied and as I preached, lovingly preparing me for 2015. Three weeks after delivering this message, I was let go from my job, and it was stressful but honestly I thought I would find a job quickly. You see, I have a good resume, I have good work experience, and a good education while living in Dallas that has thousands of job openings all over DFW (all would prove to be misplaced hopes). But the Lord had other plans, for five and half months I applied and applied and applied all over the metroplex. For jobs I was qualified for, for jobs I was over qualified for, and jobs I was under qualified for, with no results. For five and a half months I wondered what the Lord was doing, wondered where He was.
He was there lovingly performing surgery. In His love He was removing all misplaced hopes in my life with the only Hope that will never fail us, Himself. For five and a half months He provided over and over for me. For five and half months He reminded me that He had called me to Dallas, and that yes life was currently hard but I was right where He wanted me.
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
2015 brought many lows:
- Unemployed for five and a half months
- Lost two Grandparents
- Sickness hit the family
And many highs:
- Saw a sister whom we have prayed and prayed for come to know the Lord as her Savior.
- Saw the Lord prove faithful over and over
- The Lord blessed me with many ministry opportunities to be used by Him.
And He has given me Hope, hope that doesn’t put us to shame, because hope in Him never fails. We misplace a lot of our hopes:
- in a spouse
- in health
- in a job
- a new home, car, etc.
But only hope in Christ can sustain us when the world is crashing down around us. All misplaced hopes can fail us, but there is one hope that never will, and that hope is Christ.
The hope of the righteous brings joy,
~ Proverbs 10:28
In 2015, the Lord lovingly brought me to a place when I could lay face down on the floor and honestly proclaim, “Lord I don’t know what You are doing, but I trust You.” And that is so freeing, and a gift that makes 2015 a great year.