As I enter 2016 and lay aside 2015, I do so with some trepidation. 2015 was a hard year, with chronic illness and family issues pushing it way into the struggle zone. I'm sure you too, can relate to a year or years that as an Aussie I would describe them as serving up rock cakes instead of pavlovas (see definitions below).
At the beginning of every year, I ask God for a verse or thought that is His message to me for that time. I do this because I know I need His encouragement in my life, more than anything. In 2015 God was definitely saying,"You need to persevere, Jenny" and He was right and He has graciously brought me to the end of 2015.
For 2016, I feel God has said, "This year you need to work on Trusting and Obeying." It reminds me of the old Sunday school song "Trust and Obey for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey," by John H. Sammis.
It's NOT a blind trust and obedience, that I have but a trust in the One who showed His love through going to the cross. I can't get past that love of Jesus, I know who I am trusting in and seeking to obey, I know the depths of His character and I've known His faithfulness, despite my ongoing difficulties, I'm sure you can say that too.
" This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10
I trust He has a plan for my life and yours because He promises that He does, even though sometimes it feels like it makes no sense. He promises He has good things for me and you to do. This gives me and you hope.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
And I want to obey Him and not turn away in the difficulties, which I find can be the underlying temptation when hardships are upon me. Besides, He promises to bring good out of the troubles, when we follow Him, we can trust Him that He will.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.." Romans 8:28
I don't know how your 2015 has been but may I encourage you in 2016 to together with me, to "Trust and Obey" God, for as the song continues "In fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet, Or we'll walk by His side in the way; What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear only trust and obey." the song is describing here and now because Jesus is here for us now, He walks with us now to encourage and help us. He has promised, that He will never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5
So maybe it will be a year full of rock cakes or there may be a few pavlova's thrown in, whichever it is, may you and I, as followers of Jesus, be found to be trusting and obeying Him, because He is worth it.
p.s. rock cakes, are very unpalatable palm sized cakes, with raisins, which usually end up really hard in consistency, hence the name, I assume. Whereas pavlova as shown in the picture is a delightful combination of meringue and cream and rasberries (traditionally strawberries). No doubt there will be some who like rock cakes, so my apologies if that's the case, maybe I have just never had a tasty one, yet.