As 2018 begins, let me take this opportunity to wish you all every blessing for the year. You may have heard the saying, ‘We don’t know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future’, and that is so very true. There are three things that are a great comfort and help to us from this knowledge.
Firstly, our times are in his hands (Ps 31:15). Jesus tells us that walking as a Christian is like taking the hand of our Father in heaven on one side and the hand of Jesus our elder, caring brother on the other. He assures us nothing and no-one will snatch us away, and certainly, the Lord will not let us go. In John 10:29 he says, ‘no-one can snatch them out of my hand….and no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand’. In all our daily experiences, remember your times are in his hands.
Secondly, our tears are stored up in his bottle (Ps 56:8). For many, 2017 was a year where many tears were shed through the loss of loved ones, sickness, disappointment or even some unimaginable tragedy. You may have wept all alone for many hours and felt that no-one really cares after all, but the Lord knows and sees and cares. He stores up all the tears shed and sympathises with all his heart. He also was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Remember every day, your tears are stored up in his bottle.
Thirdly, our temptations are by no means outside of his sphere of control. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that ‘no temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it’. We do sometimes tell ourselves that no-one has the struggles I have, or no-one has the temptations I have. But this verse says differently. So you are not alone no matter what you face. There is a commonality of trial and temptation which we all face. Others are going through the same or something similar. It is one of the strengths of a group like Road to Recovery who meet weekly to share in the journey of freedom from the tyranny of addiction. We all acknowledge we are in this together. And supremely important is the promise that there is a way out rather than buckling under pressure or giving in to temptation.
What better way to embark upon a new year than by reminding ourselves daily of these timeless and timely truths from God’s Word.
Your friend and Pastor
Rev Colin MacLeod