“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I wish you all a Happy New Year filled with blessings from our Heavenly Father.
We are grateful to the Lord for his mercies in bringing us into this new year. To him be glory for ever. Amen.
I want to begin this year by reminding you that God has not given up on you. So don’t give up on God or on yourself because of your situation. The Lord loves you and has demonstrated the depth of his love by sending our Lord Jesus Christ to give his life as a ransom for us. There is no love greater than that. We must hold on to the Him no matter what our circumstances are because he is in the business of restoring and renewing broken lives.
Our Heavenly Father never abandons his children. He will never forsake you. He is in the business of giving hopeless people and helpless sinners a new beginning. He changes lives and uses people like you and me to help others come and receive life and hope in Christ. In your desperation and despair turn to him and he will surprise you with his amazing grace- favor that you do not deserve.
Our lives are not without meaning or purpose. We find the meaning and purpose of our existence in Christ. That purpose is that we glorify him through lives marked by abiding faith in Christ, obedience to his Word and genuine love shown in serving God and others. He wants us to proclaim his Word faithfully to believers and non-believers. He wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. His purpose for us is to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness- to be conformed to the image of his Son. As the Bible says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)
His purpose for us is to eventually enjoy him and his blessings through Christ in this life and in the life to come. When we trust and obey him, he will give us all the things that we need to live and serve him in this world. He may not give us everything we think we need or want but he will give us what we need in accordance with his sovereign providence as we follow him. Be hopeful! Trust God in the midst of your difficult circumstances because he is able to help us as we strive to carry out his will and purpose in the world. He will not fail us because he is faithful.
My prayer for us all this year is that the Lord in his grace will shine his light through us and use us to bring many to salvation through faith in Christ for his glory alone.
The peace of the Lord be always with you. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Felix Orji, OSB, is the Diocesan Bishop, Anglican Diocese of the West and the Missionary Bishop of CANA