Now that we’re a week into 2019 are we ready to be real about it? Let’s be honest: we usually spend the first week of the year making goals and plans that we end up never following through on. Sometimes that’s because we find the goal we’ve set to be too difficult or time-consuming (often stated reasons for giving up on diets, Bible reading goals, etc). Other times its because life simply gets in the way. As I look back on 2018 I can honestly say that I pretty much accomplished none of my goals or dreams for the year. That’s mostly because life REALLY got in the way, thanks to the socio-political-economic crisis here in Nicaragua. Basically every program and ministry we planned on doing from April 19th on was canceled, our ministry focus is very different, my family lives in the States while I’m here, I’m in a new home, etc. Despite my best planning and praying I totally was not ready for what 2018 would bring. Yet, despite all the uncertainties, I’ve seen God working in many unexpected and powerful ways this past year. Let me share a little something with you. You are not ready for MANY things 2019 will bring! Some of these may be negative things (illness, financial stress, the death of a loved one, etc.) others may be positive (new job, birth in the family, new ministry opportunity, etc.). While we may be far from ready for many of the things coming our way in 2019 that’s ok. Because when we trust God with the unknown He does amazing things.
I’m fascinated with the call of Gideon, seen in Judges 6:11-16. As much as we celebrate Gideon as a hero, he was far from ready when God called. In fact, he desperately tried to turn down God’s call. I encourage you to read the story of his call, and then check out these two big points.
- Doubt without God leads to fear, but doubt with God leads to faith. Doubt is a perfectly normal human emotion, and one you will undoubtedly have in 2019. But when we combine our doubt with God we get faith, which is more powerful than fear. Gideon doubted God, but had faith that God would use him. Because of this he trusted God’s plan and delivered the Israelites from the Midianites.
- Remember that God is with you. When Gideon reminds the angel that he is not ready the angel twice reminds him that God will be with him. God is with us every moment of our lives. It’s we who need to choose to acknowledge His presence by listening to his Word, connecting in prayer, following His guidance, remembering His love, and trusting His ways.
So yes, you’re not ready for 2019. Neither is anyone else. This year surrender the entire year to God, letting your doubt lead to faith and knowing God is always with you. You’re not ready, but with God you’re on exactly the right track. Blessings throughout this New Year!