Friday, December 30, 2011

Courage to Face the New Year

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you: (II Chronicles 20:15, 17).

For many people, the new year brings feelings of optimism and hope. For us with ongoing health problems that may not be the case. We may have a “vast army” of problems, and unless God performs a miracle, the new year will bring more of the same old battles and perhaps new ones. Trying to be optimistic is indeed a challenge.

I think the word “battle” is very appropriate to describe ongoing problems with pain. I experience exhaustion and depression from the battle of trying to stay on top of whatever problems are troubling me at the time. When I think of battle, negative words come to mind, such as fear, weariness, and fighting. But there is a positive word as well - courage. A few months back I read this quote on my daughter’s Facebook page: “Courage does not always roar; sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’ ” (Mary Anne Radmacher).

As I look to this new year, I may feel I don’t have the strength to enter it with a “roar” of boldness and faith that I will triumph valiantly every day. Yes, God is more than able to bring me through in that way but many times my faith and trust in Him wanes. I can however choose to remember God’s omniscient grace, love, and power. I can say, “Yes, Lord, I begin this new year humbly and quietly looking to You for the courage to try tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. This battle is not mine. It is Yours, and no matter how overwhelming the year may look, I can face it because of Who You are – the Lord, mighty in battle.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank you that I can enter this new year with courage, knowing that along with Your blessings, You will bring me through every battle I will face. Amen.

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