“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I want to remain faithful to the Lord this year.
That’s something very easy to say, but it’s not always easy to do. You know what I mean?
When you think about it, doing what is right in the sight of God – being faithful and loyal to Him no matter what – takes courage. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). In other words, you need to be more than just a religious person, someone who prays before meals and goes to church, in order to be saved. You have to do what God says.
What if you’re the only one in your family who wants to do that? What if you are the only person at your job who wants to do right by God in a situation? What if you are the only person among your friends or in your class at school who is willing to stand up for what the Bible says is right?
When that happens, we’re faced with a choice. To whom are we more loyal? Our family, our friends, our peers, our teachers…or the Lord?
That’s a tough decision. It’s scary. It requires a lot of courage to stand with God if no one else around you is willing to do the same. In times like these, being faithful to the Lord is more than just a nice phrase to say, a nice New Year’s Resolution. It requires courage and commitment.
And we can’t do it by ourselves. At least I can’t, and I don’t think any of you can either. If I am to remain faithful to God, I need God. I need Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of comfort and assurance from today’s Bible Reflection verse of Isaiah 41:10. It fills me with gratitude to know that God Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, promises to be with me, give me strength, and help me.
The people in our lives can promise us great things, and many of them even do the best they can to keep their promises. Yet there are times when they can’t, and even more times when they won’t. We know that. That’s why we say, “That’s life!” when disappointments come.
In matters involving the eternal welfare of our souls, it is far more serious…because there’s only one way to heaven and Jesus is that way (John 14:6). Others will offer us another way. Preachers, our family, our friends, authors, philosophers…they all say things about going to heaven that sound really good. Yet so much of what they say is not based on truth, even though in many cases it’s offered with sincerity (Matthew 7:21; 15:14).
Many follow their feelings, their own theories and suppositions about how to be with God for eternity, but the road they’re on is not where we want to go. I know this because the Word of God says so: “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
Only God can help us. Only Jesus can show us the way, and He has. It’s the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God that comes to us from God, that shows us the way to God. The Scriptures give us the guidance from God and the encouragement from Him that we need to stay on the right path.
The inspired Psalmist knew this: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to Your word…You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word…Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes” (Psalm 119:105, 107, 114, 124).
Do you wish to remain faithful to God this year? Let Him help you by going to His Word every day and letting His holy precepts guide you.