Dear Tabernacle Family,
Today, on this 52nd Sunday of 2017, we bring another year to a close. As we anticipate the fresh year that awaits, let me encourage you to pause and reflect upon God’s faithfulness to you over these past 12 months. Yes, we could delve further into the past than just these last 365 days, but take a moment to remember where you were at this point last year. What was happening in your life when 2016 was coming to an end? Were you experiencing heartache or sorrow over a recent loss? Perhaps you were fearing what the next days or weeks might have in store as you stepped into the New Year? Where there relational, medical, financial, or some other areas of concern, that gripped your heart in that hour? Can you remember wondering, “How will I ever make it?”
Well, beloved, here you are, a full year later; so, let me celebrate with you today: You made it! By God’s grace, and His faithful grip on your life, He held onto you, guiding, and guarding your heart through what may have been the most turbulent time of your life. He was there, each of the days that comprised the past dozen months – hour by hour, moment by moment, breath by breath. He was there, although at times you may have sensed His absence more that His presence. He was there, though He seemed silent when it seemed you needed to hear His voice the most. He was there – His eyes upon you and His heart toward you, fully confident in His ability to bring you through the days you never thought you would survive.
He was there, and He is here! It may be that everything that you were facing as 2017 opened has yet to be fully resolved, but take hope in this: The same God who walked with you throughout this past year has promised to walk with you in the New Year. No matter what circumstance or situation you are facing today, you can declare with confidence, “I am going to make it!” Such a pronouncement does not arise from a sense of self-reliance, where you think you have what it takes to make it on your own, but instead, it bursts forth from a heart of Christ-dependence. Having personally experienced God’s faithfulness in your past and present hours, you are now fully persuaded that He will be just as faithful in the days that lie ahead.
In God’s grip,
Pastor Jim Ruddy