So, the New Year is here, and it feels a little like an anti-climax. Not much has changed and wherever you are the world you are probably facing what we are in the UK right now, we still have a way to go to see the back end of Covid 19 and to experience life fully again in its abundance.
With a prolonged period of pandemic, and many things unknown for the future, how can we stay positive? How can we emerge from this year or so, as it will be by the end, better for it?
Sometimes the best thing is to remember and apply what we already know and just keep going. This may sound somewhat boring or simplistic, but actually this can be a profoundly helpful approach to getting through times like this well.
I’m sure we would each love to find some secret key to making everything easier or faster or different right now. But sometimes sticking the course, learning how to apply our own advice, remembering what God has shown us, told us, promised us and living it out can be one of the greatest growth opportunities for us.
Sadly, the only way we can develop perseverance is by practicing perseverance!
The only way we can learn to get our joy from healthy places is to be forced to do this. The only way we can learn how to keep on course despite our environment not being the most conducive or the most motivating, is to actually have to do this.
This is where we are at now. Nothing has changed about what God has said and promised us. Nothing has changed about the future He has planned for us. Our purpose remains. We can still be planning, upskilling, preparing in heart, mind and spirit for what God has shown us. If we have not been shown our future, our amazing personal and unique purpose, we can find this out, God is still there, still speaking, still wanting to reveal this to you.
Every difficulty we have endured during 2020, has grown us, prepared us, increased our capacity, our tolerance and our strength in some way. My Dad use to many times make a comment to me when I was growing up, if I complained about something; he would say; ‘You’ll be fine, its good character-building stuff for you’.
Well, I feel 2020 has been this for all of us…..
And building our character is not a bad thing. It is an incredible thing, because it is what God looks at in us the most. All His blessings, His anointings, on us, are wonderful, but He looks on at our character. This is what we individually, to a great degree choose how much is developed. God loves to see good character develop in us.
So, character building in all kinds of ways is one opportunity at this time. How do we react to being restricted? How do we learn to keep our joy on despite the circumstances? How do we learn to keep our love on, despite fears, despite shortages of time, money and other resources? How do we learn to sacrifice, to go off our personal course and have to temporarily live another course and to be happy about this? How do we learn to do without the things that usually make us happy? How do we learn how to find happiness in other ways? How do we learn to draw on God, our source, in times like this? For strength, for patience, for comfort, for hope, for joy. He has all this and more for us.
How do we stay positive? How do we stay thankful? How do we stay in relationship with others with the current challenges?
How do we take care of ourselves, emotionally, physically and spiritually?
Whether you consciously realize it or not, this is what each of us is learning right now. We are learning through hands on experience the answer to many of these questions. It’s a forced learning. But be encouraged because you are learning and growing. Your ability to survive and live well and to adapt is something you will need for where God is taking you.
2020 has been a crash course in learning and applying in practice many things we have only known previously in theory!
Be encouraged, every season has a purpose. Whatever the enemy brings, God uses it for His purposes. God redeems time, redeems loss, redeems all things.
Do not think the season is wasted, God will use all of it to accelerate things in the future.