SEASON OF HOPE AND JOY

In these challenging times of COVID 19, every one of us is yearning for hope and encouragement. We all need that, don't we? But despite what we see happening all around us and to us, this NEW YEAR 2021 is still the season of hope and joy.

We are all waiting, expecting and hoping for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the challenges may continue, and we only need to put up a brave front and go on with our lives knowing that although it may take some time, things will get better.

We wait for and expect a safe and effective vaccine. We look forward with hope to a return to normal life, to not have to worry about getting too close to people, to be able to gather again with family and friends, to travel, and to worship and praise God in song. We look forward to singing without worrying about spreading the virus.

We wait to go to church and gathering closely again as we worship the Lord. We hope to see our churches full without necessary empty seats to keep people apart.

We wait in joyful expectation for the coming of a vaccine. We hope that soon it will be widely distributed. We look forward to going out to eat and shopping without worry of contracting the virus. We look forward to attending family gatherings, sports events and enjoying full stadiums. We look forward to continual in-person classes in our schools, without worrying about having to resort to virtual classes.

We wait with hope to being able to visit our loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes and those who have had to stay home during this pandemic. We look forward to visiting them without the worry that we may be carrying the deadly virus.

We wait and we hope. Yet even when life returns to normal, there will not be an end to sickness and suffering. There will not be an end to all loneliness and isolation. The sorrows of life will not disappear. The production of a vaccine, a wonderful accomplishment of science, which we have hoped and prayed for, will not bring peace to the world. As wonderful as it is, a vaccine will not eradicate the diseases of the spirit that are part of our life in this valley of tears. It will not eradicate sin and injustice. A vaccine will not bring eternal life.

We hope for a vaccine and an end to the pandemic, but this is not our greatest hope. Deep down, we will still feel a longing for something greater, a longing for unending happiness, a longing for joy, peace and love. In a word, we long for salvation. We long for a Savior. We long for God. Without Him, we have no ultimate hope and will not find joy and peace.  With Him, we go through life as a journey toward the fullness of life. Because of His love and the price He paid for our sins, we can not only enjoy a victorious new year, but a triumphant life. Let Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour put a new “want-to” in our lives and in our hearts. And as the calendar turns another page in this brand new year, let us be comforted knowing that there is no battle in our lives too great with Him in our lives. There is victory in Jesus our Lord!

Christ, our Savior, still brings us hope as we place our trust in Him. He is unchangeable, and His offering of peace, joy, love and hope is always available. We serve a big God, one who cares for every need you have. (Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31)

A New Year is like a blank book; the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself – leave the past and focus on your future. (No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. Philippians 3:13-14)

COVID 19 is still here with us even in 2021 but we can still have joy and be hopeful if we remain positive, have gratitude and remain prayerful during this season of the New Year.

We can choose to remain positive. Positivity is A Source of Light in Dark Times. Positive thinking can increase confidence, reduce stress, and promote healthy behaviors. Staying positive during dark times can be a challenge. Intentionally connect with people with whom you have meaningful relationships.  Be close to people whom you have best interest at heart, and draw upon their strength and be careful to limit your social media and news consumption. While they both have a place in the world, too much of either one can be a bad thing.

Choose to have a heart of being grateful. Celebrate the Good in Every Day. When we choose to be positive, we become aware of the things in our lives that are good. That naturally leads us into opportunities to express gratitude for the things that we do have. Gratitude has been linked to improved psychological and physical health. It also works wonders for our relationships.

Be prayerful.  Prayer is A Powerful Connection.  Don’t let this pandemic change your prayer routine. Our God does not change due to our circumstances. Our God does not go for vacations! Prayer is a powerful opportunity to talk to God. While most people know that prayer is our opportunity to ask God for help, we often forget that it is meant to be a transforming experience for us as well. When we take time to sit back and listen for a response from God, we are attempting to make prayer into a two-way conversation instead of a one-way monologue.

So how can we listen for what God wants to speak into our lives? I’ve found that I can hear God best when I intentionally slow down, escape the noise of everyday life, and focus on what God might want to say to me.

A BLESSED NEW YEAR WITH HOPE AND JOY

This New Year is different from any others we may have experienced. But hopefully God has granted us sufficient grace, hope and joy to celebrate the New Year season in a special and comforting way – being home with our loved ones (for those of us who did not travel as usual).

To you our dear reader remember that the blessed hope Jesus offered then and what He offers now is still the same. At the beginning of the new year and  every day of the year, Immanuel, God With Us, is indeed with us (Matthew 1:23). Born in a manger and then in our hearts as we receive Him as our Savior and Lord, He came to love, forgive, and save us from sin. He's still doing that every day. That's the good news of great joy that will sustain us throughout the year.

My prayer for you this New Year 2021 and every day is that you come to know Him intimately. He is your Hope, your Joy, your Peace, and He will always be the Light in our challenging world and times in which we live.

Every end marks a new beginning. Keep your spirits and determination unshaken, and you shall always walk the glory road. With courage, faith and great effort, you shall achieve everything you desire. Blessed NEW YEAR 2021 to you all with lots of love, hope and joy from the comfortinspirations.