Returning to the Familiar

Returning to the familiar can be like a warm hug.  Its embrace is comfortable and welcoming and can give you a sense of belonging.

But what if you don’t belong in the familiar?  What if the place you are trying to return to is not the best for you?  What if you are trading the comfort of familiarity for the hard choice to move on to something new?

This time of year, many people seek to add new routines to their lives, new regimens to their health, and pursue fresh ideas about what they want out of life.  At the same time, many resolutions fall through because going after the new is not always the easiest thing to do.  The steps forward can be uncomfortable rather than exciting, and truthfully, it can be downright overwhelming.

In the Bible, God knew what was best for His people, but how often did we see that the children of Israel wanted to go back what was not best, back to the familiar (Numbers 14:4)?  In Egypt, although it was hard, they knew what to expect.  Their routines were predictable, and they knew which course of action would produce which results.

God wanted better for them.  He desired to take them on a life-changing expedition.

But when God wanted them to journey through the wilderness toward their Promised Land, many became apprehensive and disillusioned with the many challenges they faced in order to reach that goal.  And even though Egypt wasn’t good for them and caused them great pain, when times got hard in going toward their place of promise, they wanted to return to the familiar.

With rose-colored glasses on, they talked themselves into believing that the old place where they had come from was not that bad (Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:5).  They convinced themselves that things were okay with the way they were and to be content with a life that was less than ideal because the prospect of the new brought too many challenges.

In pursuing change, we too must be careful not to romanticize where we have come from or where we are going.  We must remind ourselves there was a reason for wanting change in the first place.  To continually look back and want to throw oneself into that familiar embrace can sabotage where you are trying to go and what you are trying to do (Proverbs 4:25-27; Luke 9:62). 

At the same time, to look ahead as if everything is going to be peaches and cream, as if moving forward is going to produce automatic results without hurdles to overcome, is setting oneself up for a fairy-tale ending without experiencing the tragedy of the plot in the middle.  It just does not happen that way.

Although this is just the beginning of the year, as it progresses, there will be a few times, if not many, when the pull to the familiar will seek to lure you back (Isaiah 43:18-19).

The familiar, when used correctly, can be an incredibly beautiful thing.  But, if you are after real change this year, and the familiar place is not what was producing it, challenge yourself to stay the course, to keep looking ahead (Philippians 3:12-14).

Prayerfully, seek God’s wisdom and guidance, and as with the children of Israel, He will gladly show you the way (Exodus 13:21; Psalm 25:4-5).    

Yes, this year, the new may have its challenging moments, but when you reach your place of promise, think of the beauty there to behold.

Photo by Abby Chung on Pexels.com

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.

Beginning Anew in 2022

Friends, countless of us use the passing of the old year into the new as a marker for beginning again in many areas of our lives. 

And, I believe that’s okay.

As time goes by, we can sometimes get into a rut or feel stale in our routines, life, etc.  Using this time as a point of evaluation can wake up our perspective and challenge our resolve to do better, to do more.  This time of year is also used by some to reinvent oneself or to redirect one’s path, relationships, work, ministry, health, life, and so on.

So, what do we look for in the new?

Truthfully, that is a question only you can answer for yourself.  I can only speak of what I am looking for.  When pursuing the new for myself, I look for increased awareness of distractions to my goals which can help me navigate each as they come in a befitting manner.

Knowing that distractions will come since we live this thing called life, I am also trying to be more aware of my priorities.  In order to get the most out of the gifts and life that God has given me, how do I best use my time each day?   Am I spending my time developing those things that I say are “priorities,”  or am I just talking about them?

There is a measure of accountability with oneself that comes with those questions.  Am I happy with what I see?  If not, what can I do to improve those areas?  Where and how can I inspire and challenge change?

Beginning anew is not supposed to put a sour taste in your mouth as you grit out words of resolve through your teeth.  To me, it is a breath of fresh air, bringing with it new inspiration to work or improve in areas of my own life where I desire to see positive adjustments made.

There are countless stories in the Bible where people had the chance to start over, to begin again, but two of my favorites are Ruth and Abraham.  I find their experiences encouraging for all who are pressing for the new. 

Ruth, especially, in the natural, lost everything.  And when she was willing to walk away from everything familiar, comfortable, and reliable – she found what she was walking toward to be so much more fulfilling (more on returning to the familiar in an upcoming article).

Her story, like Abraham’s, stretched them to go forward into an unknown future, and holding on to faith in God, they went. Neither one of them knew exactly where each step would lead, but they walked forward and were greatly rewarded for their press, for their diligence, for their continued faith in God.

As I said before, beginning anew can look like so many things to so many people.  The example of Ruth and Abraham can teach us all a little something about letting go of an unprofitable past and moving forward in faith (take time to read their stories in the Bible).

These last two years have been something special, to say the least.  I can’t predict what’s in store for us this year.  As with Ruth and Abraham, we may not have all the answers about the future we are currently going into, but through it all, may we be found moving in the forward press of our faith in God.  As we are beginning anew in 2022, be confident that He has us, and may we continue holding on to Him as we trust in God’s guiding hand, for He is the “same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” Psalm 48:14

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8

Image above provided by Pixabay

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site may not be copied and pasted, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic). See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.

 
 

Goodbye

Image by Pixabay

Years and
times of past
I’ve spent
living frivolously,
when the altar call
of my life was made
through Calvary,
I was made free.

Free to begin again,
free to start anew
– my life before
was just a preview,
of the greatness He
wanted to do inside,
to bid the old man
adieu, goodbye.

Saying goodbye isn’t always a bad thing.  It is a time when we are able to clean out certain things in our lives that were hindrances and unprofitable.  Even in our own character, there can be things we would like to rid ourselves of and start anew.  When that newness starts with Christ, you can never go wrong.  When the new I am seeking is found in Him, I may not be guaranteed a life of ease and success, but I am guaranteed a new life with a glorious future to behold.

Letting go.  Saying goodbye is sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves.  Especially if it is keeping us from something far greater.

I can’t guarantee you a lot in life, but I can guarantee that anything you let go of will pale in comparison to what you find in our Savior.

Goodbye, old man.  It’s time for the new.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Ephesians 4:22-23

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.

“Get Your Hopes Up!”

When discussing your dreams, ambitions,  and life goals there are two types of people you deal with: the pessimist and the optimist.  The pessimists have the habit of speaking negativity into everything that comes across their path.  And, if one is really stepping out on faith and shooting for the moon with a certain determined objective in mind, one that doesn’t fit into the ordinary way one may think, it usually eggs this negative-Nelly on to speak even more of all the things that could go wrong.

Whereas, the optimist doesn’t see the same barriers the pessimist sees.  The optimists believe that if you want to shoot for the moon, shoot, and don’t stop until you land on it.  For this one there is no such thing as an unattainable goal.  “If you can dream it, you can live it,” is their life motto.

There are a lot of things that many of us want to do in life but setbacks cause some to shrink away from those dreams.  The fighting to press forward before can put a damper on the will to fight again to see desires be fulfilled.

But, in our Christian journey, if we are doing nothing else, we are walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7).  Everything we believe in and look forward to is based on hope and expectation.  There are a lot of things that we can’t see in this present day, but a glorious future is whispered in our ears by the voice of hope; the voice that never stops believing there is more.  There is greater to come because God has declared it throughout His Word.

While the world tries to dim your light and say, “Don’t get your hopes up;” I say, “Get your hopes up” and get excited about what God wants to do through His people in this new year!  Enter this year with expectations raised higher than ever before!  Don’t shrink back, but stir up the hope within and believe for so much more!  Reach beyond even the positivity of the optimist and declare, “I am a hope-imist!”

Why?

Because…

“I am a child of God who is favored!” (Num. 6:25-26; Ps. 5:12; 30:5; Gal. 3:26)

“I have an enduring hope!” (Ps. 71:14; Pro. 23:18; Isa. 40:31; Mk. 9:23)

“I am special to God!” (Jer. 1:5; Luk. 12:7; 1Pet. 2:9)

“His plans for me are so much greater than I can envision!” (Jud. 6-7; Pro. 9:2; Jer. 29:11)

“I have a reason to believe!” (Gen. 15:6; Ps. 112:7; Joh. 3:16; Mk. 11:24)

“I have a reason to keep pressing on!” (2 Chr. 15:7; Job 17:9; Gal. 6:9-10; Phi. 3:14; Jam. 1:12)

“I have a reason to expect victory in the end!” (Deu. 20:4; Joh. 16:33; Rom. 8:37; Phi. 4:13; 1 Joh. 5:4)

“I am in the plan of God!” (Ps. 138:8; Mat. 6:25-34; Eph. 2:10; Phi. 1:6)

…Therefore, I will get my hopes up!  I will believe the best for this new year ahead!

Scripture Prayers:

“Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:22

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

“Get Your Hopes Up!” – Word For Life Says

When discussing your dreams, ambitions,  and life goals there are two types of people you deal with: the pessimist and the optimist.  The pessimists have the habit of speaking negativity into everything that comes across their path.  And, if one is really stepping out on faith and shooting for the moon with a certain determined objective in mind, one that doesn’t fit into the ordinary way one may think, it usually eggs this negative-Nelly on to speak even more of all the things that could go wrong.

Whereas, the optimist doesn’t see the same barriers the pessimist sees.  The optimists believe that if you want to shoot for the moon, shoot, and don’t stop until you land on it.  For this one there is no such thing as an unattainable goal.  “If you can dream it, you can live it,” is their life motto.

There are a lot of things that many of us want to do in life but setbacks cause some to shrink away from those dreams.  The fighting to press forward before can put a damper on the will to fight again to see desires be fulfilled.

But, in our Christian journey, if we are doing nothing else, we are walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7).  Everything we believe in and look forward to is based on hope and expectation.  There are a lot of things that we can’t see in this present day, but a glorious future is whispered in our ears by the voice of hope; the voice that never stops believing there is more.  There is greater to come because God has declared it throughout His Word.

While the world tries to dim your light and say, “Don’t get your hopes up;” I say, “Get your hopes up” and get excited about what God wants to do through His people in this new year!  Enter this year with expectations raised higher than ever before!  Don’t shrink back, but stir up the hope within and believe so much more for 2018!  Reach beyond even the positivity of the optimist and declare, “I am a hope-imist!”

Why?

Because…

“I am a child of God who is favored!” (Num. 6:25-26; Ps. 5:12; 30:5; Gal. 3:26)

“I have an enduring hope!” (Ps. 71:14; Pro. 23:18; Isa. 40:31; Mk. 9:23)

“I am special to God!” (Jer. 1:5; Luk. 12:7; 1Pet. 2:9)

“His plans for me are so much greater than I can envision!” (Jud. 6-7; Pro. 9:2; Jer. 29:11)

“I have a reason to believe!” (Gen. 15:6; Ps. 112:7; Joh. 3:16; Mk. 11:24)

“I have a reason to keep pressing on!” (2 Chr. 15:7; Job 17:9; Gal. 6:9-10; Phi. 3:14; Jam. 1:12)

“I have a reason to expect victory in the end!” (Deu. 20:4; Joh. 16:33; Rom. 8:37; Phi. 4:13; 1 Joh. 5:4)

“I am in the plan of God!” (Ps. 138:8; Mat. 6:25-34; Eph. 2:10; Phi. 1:6)

…Therefore, I will get my hopes up!  I will believe the best for this new year ahead!

Scripture Prayers:

“Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:22

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

“Merry Christmas Everyone!”

My Project 81-001

Just want to take some time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  God has used each one of you to bless me in one way or another this year.  You guys are awesome and I pray His very best for you now and into the next year. 

Also, unless I become deeply inspired 🙂 (we all know how that is), I will be taking the week off from writing.  There will be no new posts or Sunday School lessons until January. 

Be blessed.  Enjoy your Savior, your family, your friends, your holiday!