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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

2 January 2019: Rev’d Joshua Thomas – Petersfield and Liss United Reformed Church

The Promise of a New Year

Happy new year! The excitement and chaos that Christmas often brings to our households has passed and we are now able to look forward to a New Year and all the promise that this brings.

For many people a new year is a chance to look back and take stock, we remember all that 2018 brought to our lives, we acknowledge for many 2018 brought pain and suffering and some will have lost loved ones, but we also remember the positive experiences, all the good times we had.

As Christian’s we are called to give God thanks for the blessings we have in our lives, sometimes though, these blessings can seem small and it can feel like we have far more negatives than positives in our lives.

When I was younger, I travelled to Jamaica and experienced what this type of thanksgiving can look like. Many of the people there had so little in their lives and yet they sang joyful, enthusiastic songs of thanksgiving to God for the meagre food they had to survive on that day rather than complaining about the fact that they had so little.

It is OK for us to turn to God when things aren’t going right for us, there are many examples in the Bible in which people cry out to God in lament, this is all natural and God is big enough to take it. But equally, just as we would thank our family and friends for the presents given to us at Christmas, we should also remember to thank God for the positives we do have in our lives.

Let’s make 2019 the year we remember to count our blessings, but let’s also remember God is there for us when we need him when things aren’t going so well too.

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