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And A Happy New Year

Job 8:20-21
20 Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing.

I came across this verse this past summer before we left on our journey to Oregon. It helped remind me that God is fair when it comes to how he treats the blameless and how he sees the evildoers – and there’s nobody as fair as Him; and because of God’s grace, we get to be a part of those known as the ‘blameless’ - those that He won’t cast away, leave, ditch or forget.  He keeps an accurate record. So basically put, when it’s not looking so hot around you God is saying, ‘stick with the stuff…you’re not forgotten’. It’s a lot like the story of Paul on the ship to Rome when Paul had advised the captain that it wasn’t good that they sail. As the story goes, the ship never made it to Rome and Paul ended up spending 3 days and nights in the sea hanging on to a piece of the destroyed ship. When he finally does make it to land, Paul gets bitten by a venomous snake while grabbing wood for the fire. It was at that point that the ‘outsiders’ figured Paul was the bad guy and that judgment had finally come – besides, what man of God gets shipwrecked and bitten by a venomous snake? Without skipping a beat Paul shakes off the snake, acts like nothing happened, and probably has a good laugh with the others about who stayed afloat the longest out in sea! That’s when all the talkers and onlookers changed their tune and figured Paul must be a god. It just goes to show you that you can’t live your life by what people think. One also realizes if we just stick with the stuff, the tables will turn and God proves yet again, "You’re not forgotten.”

Now the best part of the verse – ‘He will fill your mouth with laughing and your lips with rejoicing’. Not only will God turn it around, but in some crazy way you will always end up laughing…usually as a result of remembering how bad it was!  I know that not every past situation is laughable, but in the ones where you know God turned it around in your favor, you’ve got to remember those stories and laugh. It helps spark something inside of you to look at your current situation, and laugh before you ever see the outcome – that’s where ‘your lips with rejoicing’ comes in. Let’s face it…God always turns it around for us – always! No matter how dark the hour may seem, we are not forgotten and He’s working to turn things around. So let’s think of this new year as a happy one from the standpoint of – ‘we’re going to be laughing again!’ I think if God sees it that way, then we can see it that way.

Have a real happy New Year!
Pastor Shian

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