We’ve come to the end of what for some of us has felt like the worst year of our lives so far – 2020. Where do we begin?
We’ve experienced things this year we never imagined could happen. How is it possible the world stood still? How on Earth did we lose our freedom overnight? How did this invisible disease become so deadly, wiping out so many of our loved ones and friends, causing schools to close early and forcing us all to work from home? Not to mention how summer got cancelled, flights got locked off and we got locked down, twice!
I’d be lying if I said that at some point this year I hadn’t questioned the very existence of God, His presence in my life and His love for humanity.
I have noticed that as humans, by default, we allow our circumstances to shape our reality. Let me show you what I mean. Take Abraham for example:
“Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:1-2
God promised him a new home and He also promised that Abraham would become a great nation. By faith Abraham left all he knew to follow the path God had set before him. As time passed Abraham focused on his circumstances: his old age, his wife’s empty womb and the fact that there were no visible signs of the promise God had given him. (You can read the full account in Genesis 15-21)
Although Abraham couldn’t see it, God was working. He did become the father of many. God’s Word did not fail.
God initially gave Abraham the promise when he was already age 75 but he didn’t see it come to fruition until 25 years later when he was 100 years old! (Genesis 12:4, Genesis 21:5)
Let’s take another example:
“And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8
God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush to tell him of His plans to deliver Israel and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Moses had his doubts but chose to trust God and follow Him with total obedience.
After persistent opposition, 10 gruesome plagues, the parting of the Red Sea and countless miracles, the children of Israel, even after all they had seen God do for them, continued to complain that life was better in Egypt. Even when they came to the promised land they were so afraid of what they saw that they panicked and doubted that God could give them victory.
Although doubt and fear clouded the minds of the Israelites, God was still working. It may have taken them 40 years of wandering, (which if they had been obedient would’ve been 40 days,) but God did not fail them. His promise was sure.
Let me give you one last example: Jesus the Messiah. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. God had made provisions for His people.
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15
God promised that the Messiah would be born of a woman and Adam, Eve and those who came after them waited patiently, hoping for the Saviour of the world that would save them from the sinful world they now lived in!
It actually took several thousands of years from the initial promise to the birth/death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upon receiving the Messiah those who should’ve known who He was, were too blinded by their sins to even recognise Him. Instead of embracing Him, they mocked Him and tried to kill Him on multiple occasions. In their minds the Saviour of the world was going to come as a rich king, not as a lowly baby. They wanted to be freed from the oppressions of Rome but in looking to self, were missing the greatest blessing of all.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
All along the way God was revealing His promise of the Messiah to the world. Even when they messed up, ignored His commands and completely missed the point God was still working!
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
II Timothy 2:13
There’s a popular song with these lyrics:
Even when I can’t see it, you’re working, you never stop, never stop working!
I want to encourage you with this. Just because 2020 has been filled with darkness, heartaches, pains, regrets and memories you’d rather forget, doesn’t mean God is not still there, working through it all!
The Bible says:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
II Corinthians 5:7
In this life, the things we see around us often don’t match the realities of what God has told us. If we focus on what we see, if we allow the calamity around us to take our eyes off God, give way to doubt, fear and anxiety. The devil then has us right where he wants us, looking inwards to self instead of looking upwards to God.
Instead we must take God at His Word. Surround ourselves with His promises, believing that what He has promised, He will deliver.
2020 has taught me an important lesson. God is who He says He is. I don’t have to see it to believe it. I just have to trust and believe it!
About the Author
Hi, my name is Laura Jane
In short I love God and love to serve him through business and ministry. I would describe myself as an entrepreneur/fashion designer. God has blessed me with an African Fashion brand - Asikara (www.Asikara.co.uk) and a Christian clothing brand - Stay Lit Apparel (www.staylitapparel.co.uk) two outlets in which I can spread His love to people I may never even meet. I also love to sing and I’m so grateful to be a part of a ministry called Scripture Says Acappella (www.scripturesaysacappella.co.uk).