By Bishop Raymond Bettis
It is a new year and a new decade. Many people are making resolutions and setting goals, but others greet the new year soldiering under the same burdens and weights of the previous year. Perhaps you or someone you love is feeling alone and hopeless. The challenges seem overwhelming and the even the next steps are unclear. My message today is to take heart, God has a plan for you. Don’t throw in the towel, instead place your faith in God and open your heart to his promises. God has not given up on you and God has a plan for your life and a solution to your problems.
Throughout the Bible we see men and women that have been looked down upon. We see people faced difficult situations and insurmountable odds, people living without hope and without allies and yet time and again we see that the perfect will of God wins, and his perfect plan lies just beyond our limited human vision. In Deuteronomy 31:6 we hear God’s promise when he says, ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’
These are not just words, but truths repeated time and time again in the stories of the Bible. Moses begins his life in a basket cast upon the Nile when his mother feared the decree calling for the sacrifice of all Hebrew babies. God had a plan, a plan bigger than Pharaohs. Moses was adopted by an Egyptian princess, raised in Pharaoh’s house. When he witnessed injustice against his people, he took the law into his own hands and took a stand. God’s plan was not limited to the baby in the rushes. God’s plan had Moses leading the Israelites out of captivity and to the Promised Land. What seemed hopeless became powerful.
Consider Mordecai and Esther. Esther was an orphan, a Jew in exile and a captive, forced to hide her Jewish heritage. But God had a plan, and Esther was seen and chosen by the King. She became the Queen of her captors and used her audience with the King to spare the lives of all the Jews of Persia and to have Mordecai made the trusted advisor to the King. God had a plan that was greater than the hopes and dreams of a lowly orphaned exile.
There are no sins or failures that can keep us from God. The fullness and plan of God is ours when we enter into a relationship with Christ. Peter denied Christ, not once but three times. Peter must have felt very alone, and he knew he had failed and been weak, but after the resurrection Jesus asked to assemble the disciples and said, ‘bring Peter.’ Even the weak and failing faith Peter did not keep him from God’s divine plan. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’
We face the new year and a new decade, not alone but with a promise from God that he will not leave us or forsake us. We face our problems with a biblical record of God’s many plans in the most hopeless and desperate situations. No matter what our sins or fears, no matter the challenges and burdens we bring with us, God is there waiting and has a plan for our lives. You are worth something to God. God has a plan for your life and the promise of eternal life. Don’t throw in the towel, do not give up. In this new year make a resolution to find a community of faith. We are praying for all of you in 2020! May God will bless you!