2014 Cheers

Extra from Volume 10#2 by Elena C.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him” (2 Samuel 22:31).

Tragedies, they are everywhere. Open any newspaper. There are always some kinds of tragedies being reported. Even without these technological intercessors, something “bad” seems to be happening around the corner and in the lives of friends and loved ones.

Just recently, we heard how a tragic fire on January 30th destroyed Reverend Chad Watson’s family. According to a news reporter:

[Reverend Chad Watson’s] wife and eight of their children were killed when fire ripped through their small frame house about 2 a.m. in Muhlenberg County’s Depoy community west of Greenville. Only Watson, 36, and his 11-year-old daughter Kylie survived. Both were badly injured and were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center at Nashville where friends reported they were in critical condition Thursday evening.

Just a few weeks ago, I learned that a close friend of mine has lost her grandmother. In the same month, this friend’s dad, who has been unjustly incarcerated for 14 months, was sentenced to prison for a crime he has never committed. Doubtlessly, the consecutive events greatly devastated this family. When I asked how she is feeling a few days later, she answered, “I am feeling better…but I never expect 2014 to be so intensive and dramatic.”

Tragedies, losses, deaths…they are not what we want to hear or experience at the beginning of a new year. Yet, in the midst of doubts, terrors, and uncertainties, God’s sovereign promises continue to echo through the air and into the suffering hearts of His people.

Be Happy in Jesus

In the well-known verse Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord declares, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Matthew 6:25-36 also exhorts us to not worry about tomorrow by reminding us of our precious and honorable position as the children of the Most High.

Read Matthew 6. Listen to the voice of the Lord and behold the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field, are ye not much better than they? Does knowing that you are cared for by the all-powerful Creator lighten your burden? Does the promise and love of your Heavenly Father bring a smile to your face? If you are nodding your head, you are beginning to understand the significance behind, “Be happy in Jesus.”

You may ask: How do I apply this principle and cultivate a cheerful attitude in 2014?

The answer is found in the Word of God; the antidote can be best summed up by John H. Sammis’ words: Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Trust & Obey

When it comes to maintaining an optimistic and a hopeful perspective for 2014, we need to remember that the One who is in control knows better than we do. Trusting and obeying our Lord then becomes the secret to cultivating a cheerful attitude.

Challenges and trials may come. Frustrations and misfortunes may leave us feel completely naked and helpless. But these external events do not have to be the government of our lives. We can still be happy because our source of happiness is the Lord Jesus Christ.

So cling on to God’s promises and have Him help you to climb out of your valleys today. Make plans for 2014, but don’t plan on them happening the way you expected. Continue to cry on His shoulders, but remember also to smile hopefully in your tears. Finally, be joyful, knowing that God’s plan is perfect and there is a purpose behind every trial (Hosea 14:9). May you have a wonderful, joyous 2014 in the Lord!