“Thus far the Lord has helped me.”
As another year comes to a close, this truth still abides. It was true for the Israelites, delivered from the Philistines even while Samuel offered a lamb and cried out to God (1 Samuel 7). It will always hold true, since the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, who delivers me from my enemies, will intercede for me all of my days and reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Rock that will never be shaken.
The Lord has helped me – there is no better way to describe this year. Or any given day. Or, I pray, my life. I am a jar of clay in order that God’s surpassing power may be known. The One who created out of nothing can surely heal my brokenness, and each year brings me closer to the Day when I will be fully, deeply, eternally whole. My failures have shown me that His faithfulness endures forever, that even when I stumble I cannot fall headlong. My successes have been evidence that His grace toward me is abundantly more than all I could ask or think.
I have learned that love is obedience, endurance, and self-sacrifice. I have learned that I don’t very much like the idea of dying to myself, but I have also learned to trust that when I make that choice, it is the Lord who provides. In love there is shelter, and I need not be anxious to look out for myself, for the Lord of Hosts Himself takes care of me. I have learned that apart from Him I can do nothing, absolutely nothing, because I have tried and found out my own weakness. Yet He prunes and waters and gives life and strength so that as I abide, His Spirit in me bears fruit. I have learned that my sufficiency is not my own, but His.
I have seen that when I come to the end of myself, time and time again He restores my soul. He inhabits the highest heavens and the deepest seas, and He knows all my ways. When I have sat in silence and waiting, He has been the one who sings over me with song of deliverance and joy. I know my hope in Him is not in vain. His testimony is true.
This coming year, and always, may I trust my Lord Jesus as He burns away all the dross of my old self, because I know that all the silver I own has come from Him. May I be so consumed by His love that nothing remains but that which is totally surrendered to Him. May I work not in my own strength, which is liable to falter at any moment, but in His, which is everlasting. May my mind be always ready for action and my spirit established in the understanding that when I am afraid, I will put my trust in Him. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me (Psalm 56:3-4)?
The world is moving a mile a minute and changing hour by hour, but God is unchanging; therefore even when all may be lost I will not be consumed (Malachi 3:6). His Word will never fail, and thus I have a sure and strong foundation, and I shall not be moved. If all forsake me, I will never be alone, for I am in the arms of the One who loves me and will never, ever, leave me. This is my God, my God forever and ever. He will guide me even beyond death. (Psalm 48:14).
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).