Happy New Year to you all

Dear Friends,

It has already been said many times, but I cannot resist saying: ‘Happy New Year to you all.’ Although trite, it is a lovely thing to say, and I like to think most people do actually mean it. However, it is pretty obvious that life is never going to be one long round of happiness for anyone, neither this year nor any other! Starting on a gloomy note? No, just being realistic. Having said all that, I want to reiterate what has been said down the ages by those who know, serve and love God, and that is: people who belong to Jesus possess a hope that no-one can snatch from them, just so long as they stay focused on Him. If I thought I was about to lose the hope I have in Jesus, (however that may be), I would be devastated!

Although the decorations have now been taken down, the carols have stopped and the excitement of giving and receiving has died away, if God is in our lives we are still able to enjoy life, without the ‘buzz’ of Christmas. No Christian should feel hopeless either, since we possess a BIG hope. Some may say, “what hope?” as they see their homes and possessions washed away in this freak wave of heavy rain. I do agree, it must be very difficult to think in any other way, as they must all feel demoralised, robbed and very depressed. Where do they turn? How can they ever live a normal life again? It must be devastating for them!! I certainly have every sympathy for them.

Having their homes flooded means the loss of almost everything, electricity being one of the key things to lose. When the storms of life hit hard, where and who do people run to? Other people who help them have limited resources, and can only give so much before they too become overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it make much more sense for them to turn to a powerful and loving God, who incidentally shouldn’t be blamed for the suffering caused by such disasters!?

Often it is man’s foolishness that creates problems – for example: David Bellamy was ignored, when he warned of the danger of flash flooding which would ensue if hedges and ditches were removed to enlarge fields. Furthermore, after hearing on Boxing night in 2004 the horrific news that a tsunami had struck, we later heard that some people had been saved as they had climbed a mountain to attend a special annual church service. We also discovered that, along part of the coastline mango trees had previously been uprooted, which would have kept much of the water at bay had they not been! We have abused our planet in so many ways, as so often we are driven by our own desires instead of Godly wisdom. Of course, we can only obtain Godly wisdom if we put our trust in Him!

Those people who have suffered flooding in their homes and are without electricity, are stumbling in the dark and therefore have to use candles or torches. Once we are without light we lose our sense of balance and perspective, and Spiritually speaking the same applies if we do not put our trust in the Lord. Nothing on earth is guaranteed – in Heaven it is.

I would like to quote the late Selwyn Hughes, who writes the following in his book ‘Words of Peace.’ “Every kingdom is shakeable except tehe kingdom of God. The kingdom of communism is shakeable. It has to be held together by force. Relax the force and, as the world has witnessed, it goes to pieces. The kingdom of finances is shakeable. The stock market goes up and down with the international events of the day. The kingdom of health is shakeable. The doctor says: ‘I am afraid you have an incurable sickness.’ Shakeable! But in a world of flux and change be assured of this – Christians are people who belong to an unchanging Person and who dwell in an unshakeable kingdom. God is allowing kingdoms to be shaken so that they might discover the unshakeable kingdom – the kingdom of God.” The storms of life hit Christians too, but the Lord is with them! Read Mat. 8 v. 23-27. God is not an idol of stone or wood – He can, and does, make things happen!

With Christian love, from Vivienne (Viv)

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