I suppose most people are wishing and trusting for a better year than what they had in 2020. The world has faced many challenges and trials, lost a lot, and endured numerous health, financial, relational, physical, and emotional battles.
Many people, myself included, are expecting some change, something new, and a better year. But, I have been challenged by the Holy Spirit with this question: ”What if circumstances are not different from those of 2020?”
I believe numerous believers have been challenged on the foundation of their faith, their spiritual priorities, as well as the depth of their character.
This has been a year where many of us have been stretched to increase our perseverance, endurance, faith, and focus on eternal things. We have been forced to dig deep on our dependence and fear of the Lord and challenged to grow stronger and nearer to God.
I can testify myself of a season of trial and difficulty, but also never having experienced God so close and present before. I had to grow even deeper roots that would stay strong when storms or challenges come.
Roots are not the beautiful part of a tree or visible to the human eye. We long for the beautiful greenery, blossoms, and fruit that we can see and enjoy. But, the roots are the strongest part. Growing roots happen in the secluded, intimate times between a Heavenly Father and His child. It is necessary before the things we long for can occur. It is the preparation and development of a great character. Such growth can only happen in seasons of suffering, trial, pain, fire, and great pressure.
Just as a tree grows from the root system into a stem/trunk, which forms branches, and sprouts leaves, blossoms, and fruit, we have to be the same. Dare to grow and flourish onward from all that we have learned and gained in 2020. Ask yourself this question: “How did I mature in myself and my relationship with God in 2020?”
For myself, it has been the truth that God will never leave nor forsake us. It has been remaining in faith and choosing to put my hope in the living God, despite physical evidence. It has been growing my trust in the God Who remains in control and trusting in His way and timing. Seeing the love and grace of God every day in small and big things and being grateful for everything. God has been faithful and ever-present in all things we have faced. Even when we did not have the luxury of understanding, we had the peace of the faithfulness and goodness of our Heavenly Father. I pray that these truths through personal experience will be part of me and who I am always.
Let all you have learned this year remain with you. Close, always in remembrance, never to be forgotten, but a life-altering truth and change. 2021 is the time to grow the green and visible bits. It is time to allow ourselves to flourish even in times of drought. We can do so if we remain close to God in everything and fill ourselves with His Word. May His presence, the Holy Spirit, and Word be the nourishment we require to flourish.
May me grow and remain strong, to be that tree which is evergreen and produces good fruit. May we flourish in 2021, despite our circumstances, because we are anchored in faith, love, and God’s Word. Flourish in 2021 even if the world says otherwise because we have grown and we are stronger! We have hope and faith in the Lord Who remains with us through it all. Let’s show others and testify that the Lord remains good, straight, faithful, and truthful.
“Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the LORD And whose hope and confident expectation is the LORD. For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, That spreads out its roots by the river; And will not fear the heat when it comes; But its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought Nor stop bearing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 AMP
May 2020 be meaningful in all we have gained from the Lord and His Word and not be a focus of what we have lost. May the strength we have gained through all we have endured in 2020 be everlasting, bearing good fruit for the next season. Fruit of love, kindness, peace, joy, patience, endurance, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, compassion, mercy, and humility that we can share with others.
May the roots we have put down, anchor us in the truth and knowledge of God and His kingdom, Who is the only unshakable entity and Who will remain forever. That remains our foundation and certainty. I pray that even though circumstances might not change in 2021, we will remember that we have changed for the better to point others to God and all that is eternal.
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
Philippians 4:8 AMP
The enemy wants you to focus on your circumstances and feelings. God wants you to focus on Him and the truth of His Word.
“And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”
Isaiah 58:11 AMP
Choose to flourish amidst unchanged circumstances because you have changed and are the change. Remember that your roots are deep and anchored in an unshakable God and kingdom. God is always by your side. Dare to sprout green life from above the ground that seems barren and desolate. Dare to push through, and carry on for all to witness the growth that has occurred under the surface, deep within. Dare to not just have life and live, but flourish in 2021. Flourish because you can. Flourish because of Him. Dare to share the hope of Your Savior and that He is the only Answer and Source for all our questions and needs. You have the ability and that choice today. Will you flourish in 2021?
Stay resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK