Welcoming the New Year with Hopeful Anticipation
Kayla Sullivan • Dec 12 2020
As Thanksgiving draws near, so does the realization that life is not the same as it has been in years past.
Instead of planning for a large family gathering, many are preparing for a more intimate feast. Loved ones may be unable to travel this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. In some areas, the government has imposed strict limitations on gatherings. Financially, you and your family may be struggling as a result of job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Or, maybe you lost loved ones to the coronavirus leaving an empty seat at your Thanksgiving table.
Yes, for many, nothing is the same this year. The media reports that we hear daily are grim. COVID-19 numbers are increasing. The presidential debacle is ongoing. At the same time, violence continues across the United States. And natural disasters are still being felt all around the world. Truth be told, this may be one of the most challenging years to focus on gratefulness.
We can all agree that chaos surrounds us from every side. It’s easy to focus on problems, sorrow, and loss. As the level of anxiety, stress, and pain increase in our lives, so does the temptation to medicate the anguish we feel. For many, the antidote of choice is often pornography, drugs, or alcohol. Others choose food, video games, or gambling.
Getting lost in our own situation, it becomes easy to ask, “Where is God in all of this?”. But focusing on the problem rarely leads to a solution. In fact, the opposite tends to occur – the longer you look at the problem, the greater the problem becomes.
It begins to feel as if you are in a war that you can never win. Everything feels hopeless, and you start believing the lie that there is no way out. The pain only seems to intensify, regardless of how frequently you seek to medicate it. As the walls close in around your circumstance, Satan tilts his head back and laughs. He has positioned you to believe that you are a lost cause. He has you exactly where he wants you, and he is refusing to back down.
Regardless of what you’re facing, having a heart of gratitude is a choice that only you can make. Fix our eyes on the Lord can usher in a breakthrough that we never thought possible.
In the time of Jehoshaphat, a war was waged against Judah. As Jehoshaphat was alerted to the size of the army descending upon him and his people, he chose to not remain in fear. Instead, he led his people in seeking the Lord. Humbly, they recognized their own inabilities.
“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12
Without the Lord, we are powerless over our circumstances. Sure, we can retain power momentarily, but eventually, our strength diminishes and we are rendered helpless and hopeless without intervention from God.
Relying on God is not an expression of weakness. For Jehoshaphat and his men, it would have been easy to focus on the problem. They could have cowered in defeat or ran in the opposite direction. Instead, they marched toward the enemy – armed with praise and thanksgiving. Their courageous decision resulted in the destruction of their enemy.
Sometimes, we have to be willing to face the giant in front of us. Boldly, courageously, with a tenacious grit that says, “I will not back down”, we have to praise God in advance of the victory that we are awaiting.
Is there ongoing tension in your marriage this year? Do you struggle with pornography, alcoholism, or drugs? Has bitterness and unforgiveness taken up residency in your heart? Do you constantly feel triggered and angry? Has it been easier for you to medicate or numb the pain in your life instead of challenging that pain and releasing it unto the Lord? Where do you need a miracle the most in your life this Thanksgiving?
The answers in your heart remain a secret between you and God. Will you seize this very moment to willfully lay your burdens down at His feet? Are you ready to keep your eyes locked on the Lord, regardless of the situation you’re facing?
Healing is available to those who seek it; to those who have the faith to believe that it’s available for them. While God can choose to instantly and miraculously orchestrate freedom in your life, it’s possible that He will ask you to embark on a journey with Him. He’s not trying to frustrate you but instead wants to ensure that everything is taken care of along the way.
This Thanksgiving, choose to disconnect from all that hinders you. Instead, embrace the opportunity to draw closer to your loved ones. Seek a greater level of intimacy with the Lord, and pursue healing for the things that have kept you in bondage for years.
For more than one million men around the world, the Conquer Series helped them begin their journey.
The Conquer Series, available on SoulRefiner.com, is a 10-week course for those who desire to break free from the struggle with pornography and sexual sin. Combining science and Scripture, it explains why trying harder does not work. You’ll begin to understand the brain’s response to sexually acting out, and you’ll be guided through the process of identifying your past wounds. Once identified, you can expose the lies that you have come to believe as a result of those painful moments. Learning to replace those lies with truth will empower you to grasp your God-given identity.
This knowledge and truth is transforming lives. Steve Chiu, a men’s ministry leader in Singapore, shared,
“We have been running the Conquer Series for a few years now and testify to the marvelous works of God through this series in our brothers’ lives. It has truly given them hope to live consecrated lives for Christ instead of living in self-condemnation.”
It’s time to quit looking at what is behind you. Instead, focus on the possibilities in front of you. Be bold and courageous in the pursuit of your future, and refuse to let anything stand in your way. In the words of author Mark Batterson,
“Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.”
Remember, the choice you make today will affect your tomorrow. Today, you can choose to put a legacy in motion that will significantly benefit your daughters and your sons. You’re not fighting for yourself, but are fighting for the future generations.
Visit SoulRefiner.com to learn more about the courses that are available to you as you pursue healing. Together, let’s all look forward to what the future will hold!
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
Sign up for our blog newsletter to ensure you never miss a post.