As we come to the close of another year, I would like to wish you all a very blessed new year! I also wanted to take a moment to reflect, and thank God for His faithfulness in 2011.
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. “(Romans 4:7-8): First of all, I’m thankful that God has not treated this gospel-abusing woman as she deserves. The Gospel is for sinners. Therefore, we must preach it to ourselves every day. On that note, I’m thankful that each time I rebel — wittingly or unwittingly, outwardly or inwardly, against the gospel of truth that has been entrusted to me, I can run to the mercy-seat. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
“The Lord sends poverty and wealth, He humbles and exalts.” 1 Samuel 2:7: I am thankful for every temporal blessing that God, in His Sovereignty, has bestowed. Gainful employment, a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat, monies to share with those in need, monies for books, monies for recreation. The list goes on. But, we all know how quickly the wheels of providence can turn. One day the land can be overflowing with milk and honey while the next day there is barely a drop in the oil flask. Let us never forget that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). He is under no obligation to do anything save that which is of His own good pleasure.
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13: I am thankful for the body of Christ. The times in which we live are evil. Each day that I step outside my door and glance around, I am reminded that this world, and everything in it is at odds with the Lord I serve. Were it not for the encouragement of the saints, both near and far, to continually hope in “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalms 27:13), I would have surely despaired.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1: One of the means whereby the grace of God flows is the fellowship of the saints — both living and dead. I’m thankful for the members of the universal church who continually strengthen my soul in the faith. I thank God for the heritage of the Apostles, the church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, and many other saints who have left the body a legacy of faith. Because they endured, so will I.
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20: I am thankful that my name is written in the Lambs of Book of Life. I am hoping for many things in 2012 but no matter the outcome, my name is written in heaven and it cannot be erased. I’m thankful that the “eternal covenant” (Hebrews 13:20) in which the Triune God covenanted to save a people, included my name.
I could go on and on. I’m sure you could too. While none of us can know what the new year will bring, one thing is sure: the God who called us into fellowship with His Son is faithful. He will keep His covenant of love. He will work all things for our good. He will not cease to intercede for us. He will continue to sanctify our souls. He will deliver us from every temptation. He will strengthen us when we are weak. He will protect us from the evil one. When we are faithless, He will remain faithful. Therefore, as we enter this new year, may we do what the author of Hebrews instructs: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Thank you so much for reading Heavenly Springs this year. I know how valuable time is and that there are many other worthwhile things you could be doing.
Wishing you, my beloved family and friends, a very blessed and happy new year in Christ Jesus!
All my love,