The weary world rejoices!

Well, this is it!  The last day of 2013!  I find myself thinking more about what the new year might hold than thinking back to all that's happened during this current year.  I suppose it would be a good idea to do both.  

While it's good to welcome the hope and possibilities for the future, it is also important that we not forget the past - at least not completely.  If you're like me, you have plenty of things in the past that you'd just as soon never remember again.  But at the same time, it's during the difficult times of life that we have the opportunity to grow closer to Christ and allow Him to use those bad experiences to help us become better people, with the ultimate goal of becoming more Christ-like.

Over the Christmas holiday, there was a line to a song that kept coming to my mind.  I kept thinking about how much it applies to life today.  In the beautiful Christmas hymn, O Holy Night, we hear these  words:

      Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

"The weary world rejoices" is the part that I find myself still thinking about this morning.  The world that we live in today is just as weary as it was the day that baby Jesus was laid in a manger of hay.  The world that we live in today is just as full of strife and struggle.  The weariness of it all can weight us down and cause us to forget the hope that we have in Christ - the hope we have because he came.  

As I look back on the year 2013, I can see evidence of his coming and living among us - in this world and in my home.  I'm so thankful that he came even though he didn't have to. And I'm so thankful that he's coming again!  

Long lay the world in sin and error pining...

As I read my devotion this morning, I was reminded of all of this again.  But I was also reminded of the peace that Christ gives us when we trust in Him.  (Isaiah 26:3).  

I don't know about you, but I need that peace, not just today but every single day.  

A new year is all about change and there are some changes going on in my life today.  There are also changes coming that will affect others in my family and I am going to be praying harder than ever as we deal with those changes.  

Change is not necessarily a bad thing.  Many times it's a great thing!  But it can still be scary and needs to be covered in prayer to help us maintain that God-given peace in our hearts.  

I'll close with these wise words by Oswald Chambers:

As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us.  Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.  Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.  

Leave the irreparable past in His hands, and step out into the irresistible future with Him.
 - Oswald Chambers

I pray blessings to you and your family as we step into a new year with new possibilities and a hope that will survive the ages...the hope of Christ.

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