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Happy New Year!

And that’s a wrap! Another year in the books. See ya later 2016!

Have you ever noticed how every New Year’s Eve we talk about how eager we are for the year to be done? How ready we are to have a fresh start or a new beginning? And then the next New Year’s Eve we are caught saying the exact same thing. I guess by now we shouldn’t be surprised that each year is full of its challenges, full of its disappointments and pain.

But we are told in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." If we listen to those words of the Gospel, we can rejoice in knowing that regardless of what comes our way, the good, the bad, the ugly, Jesus is bigger than it. When we really hear those words and stop trying to orchestrate the plans for our lives and let God have God’s way with us, we will have peace. Hmm. Think about that.

So as we enter this brand new year with a clean slate and the expectation of wonderful things awaiting us, remember this. You will have troubles. Things won’t always be easy. But Jesus is sitting with his arms outstretched ready to hold us up when we can’t walk another step on our own. He has dreams for our future that are far greater than you and I can ever imagine. He wants to marinate us in his endless love and seal us with his grace. When we surrender and realize that this gift is free to us, we can bask in the peace that can only come from Christ, a peace that will see us through the darkest of days knowing that we have the Light of the World as our guide.

I pray 2017 gives you enough hurts to keep you humane, enough failures to keep your hands clenched tightly in God’s, and enough surprises that you are in awe of our Creator each and every day. Look for the angels around you and listen for the voice of our Savior in your everyday encounters with others. Have hope!

Bring it, 2017!

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