Like many people around the world I get caught up in looking forward to what a New Year will bring, hopeful it will only be good and no stress.
There’s a word peculiar to those who call themselves followers of Christ – testimony. Did I share the wisdom of a fourteen year old with you before? During a hard time for her she said “You can’t have the testimony without the test.” So profound and so simple, it almost took my breath away.
It is through life’s ups and downs our faith grows and the world sees life-giving hope. We know trials shape us, and yet we so want to avoid those times.
“…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1Peter 1:6b-7 NIV)
Result in praise, glory, and honor. Sometimes, I’m sure you’ll confess with me, praise isn’t my first go to in a time of hurting. But here’s the thing:
A world caught up in New Year expectations forgets what you and I know: life does have trials, but we have hope. And hope has to be in Someone sure. It cannot be in self, luck, or fortune. Praise God it is not our perfection that gets us through each day, each year – it is God’s perfection. Stormie Omartian said “Free us from the self-focus and self-consciousness that can imprison our soul. Help us to see who You really are so we’ll know who we really are. May our true self-image be the image of Christ stamped upon our soul.”
When the image of Christ is stamped upon our soul then the tests of the testimony aren’t about our trials and woes, but about revealing the triumphs and wonders of God at work.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of HIm.” (2Corinthians 2:14 NIV)
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