Monday, December 31, 2012

Aim for more than a "Happy" New Year

I have always enjoyed celebrating New Year's Eve with my family.  In the past, we would have everyone over and Chad and I would make our "famous" cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon, along with other yummy snacks.  We started this tradition when our boys were very young.  We wanted to celebrate and have fun, but wanted to be off the roads and have our boys be able to sleep when they needed to.  When they were all under the age of five, we would watch Disney Movies and pop popcorn.  When the boys got a little older, we started inviting their grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins over.  Every year, we would look forward to having the family over and sharing our favorite snacks together.  Here is a picture from one of those special New Year's Eve celebrations many years ago:
Of course, this New Year's Eve is going to be completely different.  I have the flu and we are 9 hours away from most of our family.  However, Chad and Zach are preparing a special meal including homemade cheesesticks for our supper. I really miss our family tonight and am praying for them too. 

I am thankful that the Lord is faithful and although everything else changes, He does not.

Hebrews 13:8

New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

However, my heart is burdened tonight for those hurting people out there that feel alone and broken-hearted.  I don't know what situation you may be in tonight, but I promise you that there IS someone that cares about you.  His name is Jesus.  Cliche' as it sounds, it is the TRUTH.  He can satisfy you like nothing else can. With Jesus, you can have more than a "Happy New Year", you can have a peaceful, joyful, and purposeful New Year.  New Year's Eve is often celebrated with alcohol, food, parties, entertainment and so forth.  No matter how you celebrate New Year's Eve, the New Year will never bring hope if you have a life apart from Jesus. Even if you are a child of God, but are trying to fill your heart with other things, you can feel lonely and unsatisfied as well.

I remember a time in my life, many years ago, when I was hurting and feeling very alone.    I had made some mistakes and felt my life would never glorify the Lord ever again.  It was then that the following verse touched my heart deeply:

Psalm 34:18

New Living Translation (NLT)
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Jeremiah 29:11

New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:38-39

New Living Translation (NLT)
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, even though I felt alone and unloved, God's word said otherwise! God's word is SO powerful and true.  I am praying that if you are one of those lonely, hurting people tonight, that instead of turning to alcohol, food,or surface relationships, that you will turn to Jesus. Read over these scriptures and let them sink into your heart.  As you trust the Lord to be all that you need and want, He will give you a peace that no one or no thing can.  May God bless you and Happy New Year!