Busy vs. Intentional

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By Debbie Cunningham
 
Once again we find ourselves at the start of another year. For some of you there is excitement about the opportunity to make positive changes in your life, a clean slate, a fresh start, but for others it can be difficult as you see the suffering of 2017 continuing into 2018.
 
In February of this year I will turn half a century old, and while I have experienced many a New Year excited about the prospect of a fresh start, I have also dealt with deep sadness over situations that don’t resolve just because the year ends. As I look back, I am reminded that in both scenarios God was with me. He is the constant in my life and, because of that, I want God and His Word to be of utmost importance in 2018. Scripture tells us we will face hardships and God will use those difficult times to grow our faith (John 16:33). We are also told that God wants to pour out blessings on His people, because He loves and cares for us.
 
So how do we prepare to face the hardships in our lives, and how do we prepare to recognize, acknowledge, and accept the blessings God gives us?  In both cases we must be intentional. To accomplish this goal will take time, require change in our day-to-day lives, and demand sacrifice.
 
There are no short cuts. To be prepared for hardships and blessings we must know who we belong to, what we are promised, and what is expected of us, because some of the richest blessings can come during, and as a result of, the most difficult times in our lives—and we don’t want to miss them.
 
So instead of being busy, the buzzword of our day, plan to be intentional with your life in 2018. Decide this year to live the life God wants you to live, as an active part of the community of believers we call the church. In doing so, you will be able to endure the hardships and recognize, acknowledge, and accept the blessings.
 
May God grant us peace and perseverance as we seek to put Him first in our lives this year.