Girlfriends in God - Jan. 29, 2009

January 29, 2009 
Hope for Tomorrow 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
“God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NCV)

Friend To Friend 
A cloud of terror hung over the Valley of Elah as snarling threats and vile promises spewed from his mouth. The intimidator strutted along grassy slopes swinging an enormous club, his mammoth, ironclad feet pawing the ground like an irate bull, ready to attack. The huge, ugly monster was Goliath, a nine foot giant, the pride of Philistia. He wore massive armor; a bronze coat weighing 200 pounds, a solid iron spear, a heavy bronze helmet. The target of his ranting and raving was a frightened, helpless group of Israelites, cowering in their tents. For forty agonizing days, Goliath had come, taunting them, promising certain destruction and doom. The Israelites, paralyzed with fear, had given up all hope of escape, resigned to their tortured fate at the hand of this Philistine monster.

Then came day forty-one!  I am certain, as the sun inched its way over the mountains that morning, that neither Goliath nor the Israelites had any idea just how different this day would be. A young handsome teenager stepped into the valley of fear, fresh from the presence of God.  David, the youngest in a family of eight boys could not believe the scene before him. Tossing the giant’s threats and obvious advantage aside, David refused to accept what he saw.  Instead, he chose to believe what he knew in his heart; this giant was going down!  With simple but certain faith and unreserved confidence in God, David stepped through the fear, ushering in the mighty presence and power of God.  Goliath not only met David that day, He met the Lord of Heaven and Earth.  And the giant fell!  Giants always fall in the presence of God!

We stand on the threshold of a new year – a new beginning! If you are like me, you face 2009 with mixed emotions.  Personally, I am thrilled that I survived 2008! There were certainly moments when I wondered if I would.  I am so excited about a fresh start, a brand new set of days overflowing with new dreams and unmarked possibilities. But I also know that this year is crammed full of the unknown as well as a giant or two.  And if I am brutally honest, I have to admit that the unknown fashions a pocket of fear in my heart where questions and doubts thrive. 

The good news is that what lies ahead is no surprise to God.  In fact, He has already been where we are going. That reason alone empowers us to face every tomorrow with hope, knowing that whatever touches us passes through His hands, with His permission.  It is not God’s plan for us to dwell in fear or for fear to rule our lives.  He has already set in motion the defeat and fall of every giant that we will ever face.  Our responsibility is to step through our fear, facing every giant in God’s power and with His promises.  The Holy Spirit will guide the path of His truth to its destined mark, taking down the giants lurking in each tomorrow. 

He is the same yesterday, today and forever!  The days ahead are saturated with the memory of Goliath’s fall and trust in Almighty God, the Giant Killer!  So then, my friend, I ask you, what is there to fear?  Happy New Year!

Let’s Pray 
Father, I want to thank You for Your goodness to me this past year.  I confess that there were times when I focused on the storm instead of on You.  I allowed fear to overpower my faith.  Please help me begin this New Year in faith, with my eyes on You and my glance on the circumstances.  I want to face every giant in Your power alone, walking straight through my fear in faith.  Right now, Father, I surrender to You and the plan You have for me in 2009. 

In Jesus’ name, 

Now It’s Your Turn 
Take time to review the past year and consider the following questions:  

  • What giants have you faced this year?   
  • Was your response to these giants right or wrong?   
  • How do you typically handle fear?  
  • What giants are you facing today? 
  • What has been your natural response to giants of the past?  
  • How do the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ affect those responses?  
  • Read Luke 2:8-14.  Examine your life in light of this passage.

More From The Girlfriends 
Can you believe that the clean slate of 2009 is just ahead?  A new beginning!  A fresh start!  However, what did we learn in 2008 that will make a difference in 2009?  As the holiday season winds down, I pray that your heart and mind will look ahead to all that this year holds.  Guard your heart and mind against darkness.  Stand firm in God’s power and presence.  He is faithful and He is sufficient for whatever tomorrow brings.  Start the New Year off right by making daily bible study a priority.  Check out two of my E-Book Bible Studies, Strength for the Storm and God’s Answer to Stress

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Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Thursday, 29 January 2009.