Encouragement, Leadership, Small Groups

It Has Been An Interesting Year

It has been an interesting year with earthquakes, floods, early snow storms and extended power outages.  We have seen very little recovery in the USA economic situation and the same in most other nations of the world.  As the Berlin wall fell, we are seeing Middle Eastern long-term leaders fall and witnessing an unprecedented prophetic call to the Muslim world for salvation.  Twice the Lord’s return was predicted and twice faithful followers of this false prophet were left wondering, losing confidence in their leader.  We have weathered the “no hell” storm and the “universal salvation” debate.  It’s been a wild and unpredictable year.

But, you know what?  Jesus is still Lord and we are still saved, that we know for sure.  Perhaps you have weathered storms of your own.  Jesus is still Lord and you are still saved.  In fact, as you persevered, your faith was strengthened and your resolve was one of spiritual tenacity.  As you now look back over 2011, it is time to evaluate.  Where did you see direct answers to prayer?  What testimony do you carry in your heart due to God’s faithfulness?  Where did you struggle?  What seemed impossible to you at the time and how has God worked in you through this “impossibility?”  As you take a critical look backwards, what life lessons have you learned?  Can you now see why you had to go through certain challenging situations?  Do you realize a present benefit of perseverance and patience?  What scriptures carried you through the year?  What words spoken by God’s messengers became life-giving seeds of hope?  Hold these in your heart as you press forward.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  (Matthew 24: 13, 14)


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