North Santa Rosa

LivingWith Purpose

    As we turn the final page of a calendar, we sometimes regard the New Year as a good time for fresh starts, particularly in relation to wiser, healthier practices. I once heard someone say, “Any skill improperly performed successfully can lead to a bad habit”. In other words, there’s a right way to do things, but take it to the extreme or abuse it and soon it’ll become the accepted way subconsciously no matter if it’s right or wrong.    The New Year is an opportunity to shake bad habits, but that can be difficult. You may want to commit to a more positive lifestyle, but a resolution to change works only if we desire it. All too often when our resolve doesn’t match our good intentions, we may find ourselves making the same commitment over and over again.

    Turning over a new leaf doesn’t happen on its own. Unless the winds of change blow and scatter the leaves, things will stay the same. If you don’t choose to make needed changes in your life, you’ll never reach your potential. God will sometimes allow events to take us by surprise. Some are shocking; some are sudden, while others tend to be sad. Nevertheless, God knows when changes are needed in our life and many times we do as well, but we choose to remain in situations because we get complacent and we’re not willing to expend the effort required to change.

    Seasons in life change. The Bible prepares us when it says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2). The great challenge of living is adapting to unexpected changes in life. Scripture teaches us to be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to the Lord. This forces us to trust God to help us move through life by holding His hand. Transformation for all of us is possible by the renewing of our minds, though we may not see the value at first, we discover new things about ourselves. We find resources of energy we didn’t know existed inside of us. It’s simply a refilling of God’s Spirit within that gives us a new opportunity to exercise faith like we never have before.

    When a life event unexpectantly occurs we tend to recoil into a shell until we think it’s safe to come out. If there’s one assurance we should always believe, it’s that “The Lord is Able!” Whatever your need may be to overcome past hurts and an unknown future, God is able and can be trusted. The best thing to do when faced with something new is to talk to God about it. We mustn’t forget the assured promise of Ephesians 3:20, “All glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” You’re not alone and you will succeed because the Lord is able!

    The Lord is able to “HEAR” us. We don’t have to be like those who wonder if God actually hears our prayers. The faiths of these people falter and come up short. You must absolutely believe that God hears the faintest cry of those who love Him. The Lord is able to hear us at all times. That’s why the Psalmist says, “The One who watches over you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:3).

    The Lord is able to “HELP” us. People are able to accomplish many things, but we have limits. We must have God’s help to do things we can’t do in our own strength.

    The Lord is able to “HOLD” us. When the world and its violence and destruction seem to overwhelm you, remember there’s no better place to hide except in Christ. God says, “Don’t fear, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). Christians mustn’t fear making changes in their life because of what others might say or do. God’s Word says, “Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

    The Lord is able to “HEAL” us. When Jesus walked this earth, he healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, made the lame walk, and most importantly forgave sins. The Lord is the same today and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we ask or think.

    You have the promise of the Almighty to be with you. Step out in faith in the New Year and do something you’ve always wanted to. Don’t be afraid of failing. If it’s for you and God wills it, you will have the satisfaction of succeeding within yourself and that’s what you have to carry with you the remainder of your days. Regrets in life are a haunting prospect. Don’t live with regrets from the past and don’t make anymore because you’re afraid of failing. I’ve come to a point in my own life where I can say, I would rather know defeat having tried, rather than regretting not trying at all.

    Scripture reveals the factual truth that the Lord is able to help us in all ways. It’s time for a new start. Habits can positively change for you through a consistent commitment to make right choices. Christians can experience continuous growth through dedicated obedience. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Allow God to help you rise above the chaos and confusion. The best of life everlasting is in your future!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I and II)”; “Soldiers of God” and “The Authentic Teenager” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. He can be reached by email:

Posted by on Jan 1 2016. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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