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The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23


I realize that it is really only a psychological thing, but I always enjoy the start of a new year and all the possibilities it holds. I enjoy starting out with a fresh new calendar/daytimer to use (yes, I am old school and like a real paper calendar to fill in), and this year I am using a brand new Bible that has not yet been marked up for my personal study, teaching and preaching. On top of all this, I am glad 2020 is finally over and hope for a better year for everyone in 2021. All of this makes me think about how we do not need to wait for the turn of the calendar year to get a “fresh start” with God; each day He gives us in life is like a “reboot” of sorts where we can experience His compassion and grace to live righteously. The above verse was written by Jeremiah during the very difficult time in the life of his nation as they had been defeated and taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple of God had been destroyed and everything looked very lost and gone for good. It was a time of despair, which is what a lamentation is an expression of. But even in this dark and gloomy time, God reminded Jeremiah that with Him there is hope in His lovingkindness and compassion that He can restore us. The people of Israel had refused to repent and turn back to God and got everything they deserved from their unfaithfulness in God’s judgment of them; however, if we have another day of life, we have another day to seek Him and trust in Him and see what He will do. God is far more merciful and kind than we can ever imagine and we will find out that truth in eternity when we will see more clearly. (1 Corinthians 13:12) For now, we must live by faith and trust in Him even in dire circumstances. For many of us, 2020 was a very difficult year that we are still dealing with the effects of. The impact of the pandemic is far from over even as we see hope for remedy in the news. Many have lost loved ones and others have lost jobs and have suffered from the isolation. During 2020 we also saw great division and angst over issues of  social injustice, racism, violence, increase in crime and a whole lot of political turmoil. Yet even in pain and loss, if we will turn our eyes to Jesus and the promises of God’s Word, the Bible, we can have hope and healing. These truths are for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and have His Holy Spirit living in them. With God’s very Spirit dwelling in us, we have a supernatural power internally that those without a relationship to God cannot understand. It is a spiritual connection that cannot be explained fully, but the outcome of a vibrant faith in Christ is unmistakable. Even in pain, there is an assurance and strength that enable us to persevere and do what is right despite our emotions. My hope is that all who read this will cry out to Jesus Christ for salvation and put all their hope in His work on the cross to pay for their sins. If we have Jesus, we are connected to our Maker. Once we have this, we need to practice daily fellowship and worship of our Lord in our lives so we can live by His power, not ours. If we do this in 2021, no matter what we face, we can bring much glory to God. Blessings!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Gary Houdek