“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”
The coming of a New Year always inspires me to reflect on all that God has done in my life up to this point, leaving me in breathless expectation of all that He has for me just around the bend. After meditating on all of this for the past few days, the one word that I believe will define 2015 for my family is “faith.”
God has done miraculous things for me and my family, and has absolutely proved Himself faithful. Surely He has done this for a reason, and I can’t shake the feeling that He has been preparing us to take a wild leap of faith this year, trusting Him completely with our lives and our future.
Faithful in the Past
Here is just a handful of the ways God has proven Himself faithful for us in 2014:
- Janelle and I stepped out on faith and become foster parents, despite the many people who warned us that this would be “a mistake” and “much harder than we thought.” But God showed Himself faithful, bringing us through the foster system relatively unscathed, and now we have had the profound privilege of adopting two beautiful children whom we can’t imagine living without!
- Feeling called to pastoral ministry was bittersweet for me, since it required me to drop out of my doctoral program and enroll in a local seminary instead. But God proved faithful once again, and my seminary education is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Now I’m preparing to begin my very last semester, and am looking forward to that May graduation date!
Faithful in the Future
As we approach the dawn of a New Year, we know that our family will be required to continue stepping out on faith:
- As graduation approaches, we are praying for a full-time pastor’s position to open up for us. We have no idea which church will call us, but are willing to serve wherever the Lord leads us, even if this means moving out of state. We have no idea where we’ll be living this time next year, but we’re praying for God’s direction and trust Him to keep taking good care of us!
- There are many “unknowns” in store for our family this next year. Will we be able to sell or rent out our current home? What kind of salary will our new church be able to offer? Will we find a good school for the kids? At this point we don’t have the answer for any of these questions, but we do know this: God is faithful.
As we enter a year where we need a strong, unshakeable faith like never before, we want to do all we can to build our faith. Here are a few “Faith Builders” we’ve resolved to use this year:
- Daily Prayer – After a long day with the kids, it’s not always easy to make time for Janelle and I to pray together. But we know we can’t do without this daily prayer time.
- Reading Through the Bible – Yesterday Janelle and I both used part of our Christmas money to purchase the Chronological Edition of The One Year Bible. We wanted to get ahead of the game, and started these daily readings last night. Immediately our attention was drawn to the fact that as soon as God created living creatures, He started to bless them on the spot (Genesis 1:22, 28). This reveals so much about God’s character… it’s as if He wanted so much to bless His creatures, that He couldn’t wait a moment to get started. Already our faith in this generous, loving God has been strengthened, and we know this will continue if we remain faithful to do this reading.
- Trusting Him in Every Decision – Each time we trust an important decision into God’s hands, He proves that He’s listening and that He’s perfectly capable of handling our lives. If we’ll remain resolved to let Him lead at each bend in the road, He’ll continue to solidify our faith in Him.
None of this is earth shattering news to you, I’m sure, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the basics! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement over this past year, and our prayer for you and your loved ones is that 2015 will be a blessed year where God proves Himself faithful in a powerful and unmistakable way!
Happy New Year!
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”