|How do you cope with a new year? |
For me, the start of a new year always comes with a strange, but prominent underlying pressure. I feel like I have to accomplish a certain amount of projects in the first month, or else the rest of the year will be unproductive, and deemed a failure in my eyes.
This past week I came across a letter from C.S. Lewis that served as a reality check for me. Well, more like a slap across the face, if I’m being honest.
In 1961, a young high school student in Brooklyn, New York penned a letter to C.S. Lewis, who was in England at the time.
Harvey Karlsen had just finished reading The Screwtape Letters and had a question for the well-known author.
“When you wrote this book, did Satan give you any trouble, and if he did, what did you do about it?” Karlsen asked.
A short three weeks later, Karlsen received a letter back from C.S. Lewis, in which he adamantly stated that he received countless temptations while writing the book.
“Perhaps…the most important thing is to keep on; not to be discouraged however often one
Just keep going, Lewis wrote.
While reading his response the other day, it reminded me of one of my favorite passages from 1 John.
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you,
When you get discouraged, or when you feel like there’s no turning back from what you’ve done, remember this: simply keep on.
I think we can easily fall into a trap where we think that if we mess up, God can’t continue to use us. That if we sin, God’s will for our life is over.
Maybe you already know this, but maybe you need the constant reminder as I do: the difference between those that do the work of God, and those that don’t is simply saying yes to his callings.
When we look at the people in the Bible who God used to do mighty things, we see that they were just ordinary people, and you know what?
They messed up plenty of times. They had a track record of sin, just like you and I do but I believe that what sets them apart from others was their ability to bounce back from low points and keep running after God headfirst.
This week I am challenging you to read Hebrews 11.
In this passage of scripture, the people that God used mightily are listed out. All too often we grow to idolize this list, but they’re not there so we can idolize them, or praise them for what they did.
It’s not so we can merely say “look at these great followers of Christ,” but so we can instead be encouraged and uplifted to imitate their actions.
So that when we mess up, we pick ourselves up and keep going. So that when God asks us to do something, we say YES without hesitation.
Remember: “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever,” [1 John 2:17].
This week remember that God still wants to use you despite your failures, your mistakes, or your past sin.
It just takes you saying yes to His prompting.
P.S. Read Hebrews 11 this week! We will be talking about it on social media this week, so join us there to get in on the discussion!