You have done many things for us, O Lord our God; there is no one like you! You have made many wonderful plans for us. I could never speak of them all – their number is so great! Psalm 40:5
First, I want to say happy New year to all, and may the peace, joy, and love of the new year be with us all and our families. Believe in your heart that 2022 will be the best year yet. It might not seem that way now but let us all trust God and not be afraid, for God will never leave us nor forsake us. He has everything in the palm of His hands.
God is ever faithful and keeps His promises.
How did God bless you in 2021?
We always have the perception that God’s blessings are made manifest in having wealth, having a good job, having fancy cars, etc., without realizing the small (in our minds) but major blessings in our lives. We tend to forget the everyday things we see and experience like the gift of life, family, health, protection, provision, travel mercies, talents, appetite, to name a few.
For example, if you are reading this now, God has kept you and me, not because of what we have done but His grace and mercy, which is always sufficient for us. Moreover, he saw us through 2021, even with all the chaos and confusion that still exists. So, we have every cause to praise and glorify His Holy Name, trusting and believing that He will see us through 2022. Therefore, God’s blessings are numerous and uncountable.
The question is, what are we doing with all the blessings we have?
I attended a funeral the other day to pay my last respect to a beautiful soul lost, but heaven’s gain. It dawned on me again that it is not how long we live on earth that matters, but how well we lived and how well we used the gifts God has given each of us.
I am so grateful I knew this lady because she greatly impacted me and many others and our children, both in church and school. She was their school teacher, their religious education teacher, and she was the children’s choir director and all her other roles in the church. Oh, did I mention that her voice was angelic? She just dedicated her whole life to the service of the Lord. Except she told you, no one knew she was battling cancer for years but never for one day did she not have a smile on her face (I honestly never saw her in a poor spirit or sad).
If I tell you that the church was filled with many lives that she touched (the church has not been that full since the pandemic). Like her, I want people to remember me for the positive impact I made, the lives I touched, and how well I used the gifts and blessings God has given me. My name, Ngozi, means blessing, and my prayer is always to be a source of blessing to my family and everyone I encounter.
That is why I am encouraging us all to live our lives in the service of the Lord no matter the challenges we face today. The fact is, challenges are real, and no one is immune to them, child and adult alike but let nothing separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
Now, knowing that God blesses us daily, let us start this year (2022) by seeking God with all our hearts and telling Him to:
“Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thought, and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way”- Psalm 139:23-24
Therefore, let us rid ourselves of anything that is or will be a barrier in our way of serving God, repent of our sins, and ask for God’s forgiveness. It is never too late. God is always ready to forgive us and accept us back. He is a merciful God!
Please note that the enemy (the devil) is always at work, and he is very good at trying to make us remember our past, which we try so hard to leave behind and move forward. Please do not fall for his tricks. Keep moving forward with your eyes fixed on Jesus and remind the enemy that you cannot be condemned because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
Let us, this year, go beyond the habit of only asking God to always do for us but to offer ourselves to Him and ask Him to use us. Whatever your gift (it may be the gift of smiling, encouraging others, praying for others, giving to those that do not have, singing, praying, etc.), let us put it to good use. We can share many gifts to help make the world a better place for us all to live. Our family members will also partake in it, especially our children, who learn most from what they see. In that way, we all help train a selfless generation readily available to serve God.
Let us also go beyond praying and expecting God to answer the way we want. Remember, God’s ways are different from ours, and His timing is different from ours. Therefore, whatever you are trusting God for, pray about it, trust Him and let Him have His way. After all, God knows the best for all of us.
So as 2022 begins, let us pray, “God teach me what you want me to do, and I will obey you faithfully; teach me to serve you with complete devotion” – Psalm 86:11
Let us keep praying now more than ever because prayer changes things! God is still God. He is our way maker, miracle worker, and our light in the darkness.
I pray God’s continued blessing over us all this year and beyond, and may He grant us our heart’s desires. Amen!
I wish you all a Happy New Year from my family to yours.