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Updated: Jan 21, 2023

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory, forever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:18

Though filled with festivities, the end of the year is not always as happy for everyone.

Christmas has passed and as we herald 2023, the mood shifts as something goes drastically wrong and all you hear or receive is "bad news".

"Trouble comes in threes" is often saged and within my close circle of family and friends,

I was not immune. We had two deaths and a sudden illness that beckoned one of my uncles to the emergency room. While others face tumors and cancer; divorces and separation; end of friendships and hopeless suicides, gunshots and rapes in small rural communities that used to be so safe; accidents and job loss for thousands, and things suddenly don't look so "merry" and the hope of an all-things new year seems more daunting than promising. But don't give up on hope and don't give in to fear and sadness. God has not forgotten you in whatever your storm.

Sometimes life beat all of us like an inflated air dancer that is sometimes seen at grand opening events to grab the attention of passersby. I usually find them fascinating because sometimes they are dancing high in the air with a silly grin and suddenly low on the ground still with that happy grin. I learned something by watching these objects: Don't let life kick you so hard that you can only smile when things are going all right and you are on "cloud 9", but learn to smile when Satan is rubbing your face in the dirt and everything that could go wrong happens to you in rapid succession.

If at this time of year you or someone close is being bombarded by life, like Paul, tell the enemy:

  • " Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11 (I am learning to be satisfied with much and with a little.)

  • " I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: (Jesus is with me in my ups and downs...when I have millions in the bank or zippity-zero!)

  • everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Philippians 4:12 (God is enough to satisfy my hunger and quench my thirst! (whatever He allows my way, I will get through it!

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

Like David, encourage yourself in the LORD 1 Samuel 30:6 and like Job say to your faith, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." Job 13:15

Be an air dancer! Don't let Satan, self, or anything in this life beat you down. No matter how this year ended for you or how it may have begun, CONTINUE to trust God because here lies your power! Maintain your Christian lifestyle, and stay in love with the LORD. Remember, God is only waiting for an opportune time to SHOW UP and amaze you and me. The battle is almost over and the victory is already won.

As we face this new year, may the joy of the LORD be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) as all we prepare, wait, and stay ready for His soon return.

P.S. Please share with those who you know who have suffered loss or gone through affliction in one way or another. Blessings

Happy New Year!

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

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