Can Christ Really Conquer This?
I look to 2019- all of its possibilities for growth and new beginnings- with a question ringing in my mind.. “Will it work?” For most of us, with a new year or semester, we set out to make better choices, smarter decisions, and instill habits in our lives that will positively impact who we are and who we will become.
But for me, as I contemplate goals for another year, I am met with doubt from the uncertainty that lies in the answer to my question, “Will it work?” Here at USM, the students don’t return until the third week in January, and I’m already asking myself questions like.. Will weekly worship, discipleship, and mission actually work? Will individuals’ lives be transformed? Will the gospel be preached? Will students come to know Jesus in a more personal way?
The waiting has me worrying.. craving and desiring to see something happen. Are you with me? Can you relate to setting a goal or an expectation and living in fear that it will not come to completion?
This time of year we experience a beautiful reminder in Christmas- a yearly reminder that God provided a space for grace in the midst of hopeless human history. It doesn't matter how worthless it looks, God looks at it and sees value. God looks at you and sees value. Let that sink in.. because that’s our hope, our future, and our joy.. it continually draws us back to Him.
And even though we are reminded of these truths time and again, we find ourselves in uncertain situations asking, “Will His grace work this time?” We raise our hands, our prayers, and our worship from a place of abandonment and immediately recoil at the thought of actually taking the steps needed to change a habit.
Here’s the good news in this situation I think most of us can relate to- not only does God's grace work in our lives, but it works even when we fail to realize it. Even when we are too blind, arrogant, or selfish to see His working in our midst, He works.
I think that’s why Philippians 1:6 rings so true in my heart and drowns out this question. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Taking a faithful step toward His grace moves us toward actualizing change; and the wholeness we seek, the redemption we yearn for, the newness we crave, will be brought to fruition because God is the one working it into our lives.
In 2019, let us be found giving ourselves entirely to God's grace. Let us encourage one another to live fully into the space God has provided for us. With all that is before us this year, let us make faithful steps depending on the presence of God every step of the way. This year, move from a place of hopelessness toward making steps in faith toward the hope we find in God.
All Glory to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. #christ #2019