“All things will become new.” That was my Father’s living, leaping word for me coming into the new year of 2014. What could possibly be renewed was the first question that came into my mind? Then a plethora of possibilities and expectations rushed into my head. New things, new attitudes, new opportunities, new goals, new dreams, new promises, new responsibilities, new breakthroughs, new gifts, new friends, new trials, new challenges, new tests, new experiences, new and greater things.
I was excited. There was no reason not to.
“Yes Lord, have your way.”
A year after, I ask, “How was my 2014 like? What exactly was ‘all things new’”?
Well, for one thing, I know it’s a title of a good and eye-opening movie which you can check out here: www.allthingsnewmovie.com. Go watch it! Haha Besides the extra plugging, let us answer the question.
February of last year, I lost my first ever, career related, full-time job. Boom. Surprise. Welcome to new things. Haha Looking back at it now, I can’t stop smiling about it but a month or two after February, I was a sad, moping twenty-three year old computer engineer who doesn’t know how to get back up. I will probably talk about all the frustrations and the insecurities I had back then on another blog plus all the minute details of that experience, but for now, let me testify about the ‘newness’ failure brings.
Failure produces renewed character:
- Failure produces renewed humility. No matter how good we think we are, failure has the power to show us that we are not in control and that apart from God, we are nothing. In this humility, a renewed focus in Him is born.
- Failure produces a renewed commitment. We are not going to remain defeated. No matter how depressing things seem to be, failure has the capacity to challenges us, that “we” (Philippians 4:13) can be better than the last time. Failure gives us a better drive to pursue a better goal, God’s will. In this renewed commitment, our hope in Him grows.
- Failure produces a renewed faith. No matter how impossible things appear, failure reminds us that God is able and that He cares for us. It reveals to us a bright and better tomorrow (better than now). In this renewed faith and trust, a renewed and lasting joy blossoms.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It might sound cliche or redundant to your ears already as you might have heard this verse a thousand times but hey, I can testify of the reality of God’s promise. I can write a whole lot more about the new things failure brings but I’ll just pray for you to experience them.
Praise God, December last year, I was gifted with a new and definitely better job along with new friends and leaders. My new missionfield is filled with new challenges, new prayers, new goals, and new relationships. Praise God for new things.
Last year was also filled with new and amazing stuff:
- I got my new G2 license and can now drive. In fact, me and my brother already drove our new car on a 400km family visitation to our new friends in CLSF Windsor, Ontario
- We just moved to a new apartment closer to where God’s work is. We have new neighbours, a new community, a new lamp stand to shine God’s light. Hopefully, we’ll move to a new church building soon too.
- I graduated from my certificate degree in Computer Programming Applications major in Software Engineering. New knowledge and learnings.
- I am enjoying a new citizenship, my third actually. Canadyan eh?
- I am also enjoying the new responsibilities God has given us: new Disciplship groups. It is definitely filled with new lessons, new fruits, new joy, even some new frustrations and heart aches haha
- I’ve met new friends. My friends from my previous work are the best and I miss them. In our previous apartment, I’ve met cool new friends too. From the youth convergence that we had last year, I’ve met new brothers and sisters.
- Our worship team got renewed communication and passion, becoming better God-driven worshippers day by day. The best thing I love with our team is the renewed relationship amongst us. Renewed friendship, especially among my fellow leaders that God has called. Praise God.
- A renewed blog with a renewed title
- My relationship with my family was renewed as well. The love, the memories, the communication, the bond, the commitment, and our united love for God and others. Irreplaceable!
But the highlight of my year was really the new and renewed life principles God has taught me throughout the year. All my life, I’ve learned to treasure God given principles and this year was overflowing with such new treasures. It is these principles that God planted and is deeply rooted in me that I am most proud of more than the victories and accomplishment it brought. Let me share some that I learned and re-learned last year.
“Abiding in Jesus is the only way we can bear fruit.” There was no chapter in the Bible that I read most last year that John 15. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John came close but the secret of John 15 applied in life is more than enough to live a “truly” successful life. In fact, we cannot be called “Christ’s” (Christians) if we do not live out John 15. Abiding in Jesus is simply staying / remaining / being with Him at all times. Despite the reality of my imperfection, I will choose to be with Him no matter what.
King David shared the same truth in Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” As the prophet Neville Johnson asks, “Do you know that God’s desire to be with us is greater than our desire to be with Him?” Isn’t that comforting and exciting?
And one more thing, if we truly want to bear much fruit, we must recognize that it comes from the purging of the Vinedresser. Let us desire to be purged then, dear. And the fruits that we’ll bear will remain.
“Keep your armors up.” Practically speaking, this is one of the principles that we as Christ’s must always apply. This is God’s own words through the penmanship of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6. All of us are in a spiritual battle and we cannot afford to have our armors down. Did you feel insecure lately? Angry? Sad and Depressed? Impulsive? Selfish? Lazy? Impatient with your lovelife? Undisciplined? Pressured? Stressed? Unloving? Tired? Frustrated with your leaders? Confused? Well, better keep that armor up because the devil is definitely playin’ with yah. Let us not allow him to sneak an attack on us because we’ll never know, it might be the blow that’ll cause us to miss our full destiny. Let us wear it ALL up.
“Worship is all about God.” Worship is an offering to God. Romans 12:2 speaks about a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice to God. It comes from a cleansed hand and a purified heart as Psalm 24 tells us. And God himself looks for such worshippers, those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth as John 4 narrates. Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before our Maker.
“God loves you.” It means only one thing. God loves us no matter what. Let us never doubt that. Remember, armors up. And when we continue to abide in Jesus, we’ll discover more about how deep God’s love for us is. Extraordinary!
“Yes Lord.” Keep saying yes. I read one quote from an old professor of mine that says, “‘No Lord’ is a contradiction.” And it truly is. We cannot say NO to someone we call LORD. If that is the case, then he is not lord. So no matter how hard, impossible, or illogical things are, say ‘Yes Lord’. Truly we are not capable, but God can and He will surprise us with what He can do when we say yes. Always be willing. Always keep learning. Always be available. But then, abiding is the key because only when we abide can we know what God is saying.
All of these point to one focus — JESUS. Let us become Christlike.
So, it is 2015. A new and better year. The renewal process will continue this year and for the years to come. This new year, God has dropped in my heart a new message — that this year will be a year of obedience, sacrifice, and advancement. This year, there will be a rediscovery of the cross I ought to bear through the denial of self. This year, there will be progress. There will be testings and challenges but there is overcoming in the name of Jesus. This year, there will be more unveiling in the power of obedience in Jesus even if it requires sacrifice. Exciting.
The best thing I love with New Things is that the old things have passed. I always want to be renewed, not just on 2014 but even this year and the next years until my entire being is renewed in Christ.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed, behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17