Welcome back again friends. It’s month end. We’ve survived and we will continue to. Yay us! I hope January was good to you, well if it wasn’t I apologize. It is all lessons learned to be and do better. We move forward to the next chapter with great hope that things will be amazing. Today’s article is my Reflection of this month, I hope speaks to you in the way you’d like it to. Thank you for continuing to read on!
This morning I read and meditated over Romans 5 and I believe it was a perfect scripture to end a wonderful month of which God has led me through. Its amazing how great I feel and how I honestly had less to worry about; it sure has been a phenomenal month filled with peace, hope, love and grace, and for that I am thankful for the journey January took me through. I am highly expectant to receive that which God has set out for me in the months to come and eager to take on the next chapter of the year in faith.
Reflecting over this month, I thought about all the conversations I have had with those around me and how some people have felt like things arent working out in spite of everything, that in fact all their attempts to pursue anything have been in vain. Well, I dont know what it is that you are probably struggling with, but Id like to ask that you dont give up, that you keep up the faith because my friend, it will and actually does get better! You may not see it now, but trust me, Gods on your side and you most definitely will win!
Often times when we go through tough times we never think the hell we are experiencing will for sure pass. Instead, we wallow in self-pity, pain, hurt, doubt and allow these emotions to engulf us completely. It is a common response, for all of us; I believe to express these negative emotions as such. However, the difference lies in how each one of us deals with it; whether we take it in stride or allow it to overwhelm us. I am reminded of a book that was written by Dr. Robert Schuller, titled Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do of which I would like to make a reference. The title of the book has become a term we hear a lot in motivational talks or even use it ourselves in hard times. It is a phrase we have come to adopt to remind ourselves that in spite of it all, things do get better we just have to toughen up. In his book he provides insight on how to build an optimistic self-image, regardless of your circumstances. This in regard to any hindrance in life which can affect your progress. He details a number of principles which you can learn from and apply into your own life which are aimed at cementing the notion that despite your shortcomings, you have the aptitude to accomplish whatever you set your mind to. It is a book that boosts your mentality and instills enough confidence in you to be able to adopt a positive attitude towards life. It provides exemplary concepts to apply, in turn convert negativity into positivity. This book is, as the title suggests one which will remind you that, there is no permanence in difficulty, that bad times honestly are but a passing phase and that the phrase, This too shall pass has to, in some way become a mantra to you as a reminder that it does get better!
I had to start off by giving a brief motivation because, trust me, I know that we all need that reminder every now and again because oh man do things get messed up some times. However, despite that we press on. I have had way too many bad days in the past and mostly it was due to my attitude but this decade I resolved to change all that which is why I can confidently say that January has been quite a good month for me. I think mostly because of the attitude I had when I began the year. Honestly, I made reference to this book because I believe the teachings contained in that book are some of which have given me the drive to just continue believing that things will get better regardless. With everything thats been going on in my life, I am mostly grateful that I am still grounded in Christ and in faith. I am appreciative to God for molding me into an image worthy of Him and just thankful for His guidance and protection through this entire month. January has taught me that everything that happens in my life; be it, negative or positive is in fact for my good and has enabled me to trust God all the more because He knows whats best for me. This month has taught me so many lessons which have changed my perception on a number of things.
I must admit though, that before I wasnt as faithful to God as I ought to be. I was always caught up in my own business that I neglected the one person who had given me all that of which I was caught up in. I had quite convincing excuses (or rather I thought they were.) for not reading scripture or praying as much, that I only did that when it suited me or when I needed something from Him- quite selfish of me hey. Anyhow, I had to take a step back, do a whole self-introspection and take a good look at myself in the mirror and I was quite disgusted by what I saw. I was ashamed of myself, now imagine how God, whom I was made in the image of must have been feeling all that time with me deep in my nonsense. I was so unhappy, guilt ridden, filled with shame, regret, self-loathing and disappointment with myself that I resolved that I had to do better and right by Him. I reflected back over the past year, and I realized that I was being unfair to God, expecting all these things of which my heart desires when I was failing to even give Him a second of my time. So having realized that, I was determined to dedicate time to Him and stop making excuses even if that meant me starting off my day as early as possible, just as long as I start my day with Him. I came across a passage once whose premise was that reading scripture and praying fills us up and expands our ability to keep going as well as strengthens us for the day and empowers us to fulfill what God requires. I did not truly understand it the first time I read it. However, having gone through 31 days of complete devotion to God it is now that I have completely grasped the essence of these words. I mentioned earlier that this month was so much easier for me to handle and I know some of you might believe it not true because a number of people have tagged it Janu-worry, well believe you me, I once was in that boat but I jumped out – Never again! Anyway, starting off my day with scripture and prayer as well as ending it the same way genuinely made everything else in between work out great which is why I had no worry but peace all month through. Honestly, I am so excited at what God has planned for my life for the coming months, but knowing Him I have great faith that it is nothing short of amazing!
January coming to an end doesnt mean the end of the journey I have devoted myself to, rather is but the beginning. I resolved to continue building my faith and relationship with God as it is of utmost importance for me because I swear I have seen Him do so much for me in the past, but I have only neglected to do my part. So now because I know better, I aim to do better (yes, I have been saying this a lot.) well I think it is one thing that has stuck with me especially since I realized that personally I made excuses pretending to not know the truth when in fact I did. In any case, having noted that I have taken time to engage deep in conversation with God and I have gained so much knowledge and understanding which has opened up my eyes to a whole new world of which I am living in now. I couldnt be more gleeful about that.
Through steadfast dedication to the word this month, I have found so much strength, confidence and gathered up enough courage to take on anything that will come my way. Romans 8 carries so much meaning for me because in sum it just reminds me of the fact that the old me is dead, I am not condemned, I am loved and I can conquer anything if I remain faithful to God.
All the scriptures I have read and meditated over this month, I believe are summed up by Romans 5 which is why I mentioned earlier on that it is a perfect and fitting scripture to end quite an insightful month filled with growth.
My Top Ten January Journey Faith Based Ruminations
I trust that you have your own. Please do share as I believe it will enhance growth for all of us. Well here are mine;
- I am justified through faith.
- I have peace with and access to God through Jesus Christ.
- I stand in grace.
- I rejoice in hope of the glory of God and hope does not disappoint me (Hebrews 11:1,6).
- I rejoice in suffering because I know that it produces perseverance (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4).
- God loves me and He demonstrated His love for me through sending Jesus Christ to die for me, cleanse and justify me by His blood. He continues to treat me with love and not as my sins deserve.
- I have eternal life through Jesus Christ.
- I am forgiven.
- My fellowship with God has been restored.
- God has satisfied all my desires and needs as well as renewed my soul (Psalm 103)
In sum, the image above just about sums up the gift January gave me.
We all made resolutions at the start of the year. Some took them up for the first week or did not at all and gave up thereafter whilst some are still at it. The latter group, I commend you for that. Keep at it! For the former group, I know how hard it is staying motivated especially if you have no one backing you up. All I ask is that you remind yourself why you began this journey and what in actual fact you set out to achieve. It is not too late, like I said, it is but the beginning dig deep again and find that motivation to get at it. You can do it!
Surely Goodness & Mercy shall continue to follow us ALWAYS!
January, I thank you for this Chapter,