I felt compelled to give a Testimony of 2015 and here’s why. Recently I was called to task (so to speak) about a couple of posts that were released earlier in the month of December. Specifically it was concerning commentary about how we as believers are instructed to behave or react to difficulties, tribulation, loss, stress, etc.. And to paraphrase some of the questions about those articles, they all were along the lines of, “How would you know?” or “Who are you to say?”.
No way were they meant sarcastically, nor were they presented rudely. So don’t think that I’m complaining about it at all. They were legitimate questions that deserved answers, so I did answer them to the best of my ability without going into all kinds of personal detail.
That started me down a road of thought that perhaps I should have realized much sooner. You see, I’m the kind of person that, when presented with information that strikes a chord with me, I tend to dig deeper into the topic, whether or not it’s true or accurate, etc.. I never really concentrate on the actual writer.
Perhaps that’s because I’ve got two ways of looking at information or teachings. I look at the Word of God one way as the final authority, and the words of man another way as possibly fraud or erroneous, or correct, whatever the case may be. But speaking personally, I don’t even think about what the author’s reasoning is for writing whatever they write, or their credentials that may qualify them to be an authority of any kind. The thought never really occurs to me, especially in the realm of Christianity knowing that the Lord uses who is willing to do what he wants.
Anyways, like I said that got me thinking, that perhaps I’ve kept an arm’s reach from everyone that partakes in this online effort, by way of not explaining why I’d know a thing or two about why I write what I write. I’ve always assumed, “Who cares?”, because I understand that everyone out there deals with all kinds of different things throughout their lives, I’m just trying to tell everyone what the Word of God has to say about it. Why would anyone care about what I’ve been through, just keep what God has to say on the forefront, and keep myself out of it.
But am I wrong in thinking that way? I’m starting to think so. Would it aid the cause of Christ if I threw my heart on my sleeve every once and awhile? I’m not too sure. But I’ll do it from now on, if it may cause for others to realize that I’m not someone sitting up in some high place, pushing out material just for the sake of doing it.
But instead am someone that has lived a pretty tumultuous life, and have been through a few things a time or two. Instead of going the way of the world about things of an unsavory nature, I use the experience for the Lord’s glory. I’ll talk about some of it as time goes on, but for now, I’d like to give you all a quick recap of just this past year.
The Good and Bad of 2015
The early months of 2015 were not so good for my family and I. Before the warmth of spring began to melt all of the snowfall we were all plagued with in the northeastern part of the country, we lost our home. I’m talking suddenly in one day. Later on down the road we lost nearly all of our personal belongings due to lack of money, which would well have been hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lifetime accumulation between my wife, kids and myself. All because we couldn’t afford the storage.
Our vehicle decided to give up the ghost also, which made everything just that much more difficult. All this with a family, couple of dogs and a hand full of cats, the picture may be clear what kind of other issues spring up during such a situation, and tensions within the family. So yeah, it may be safe to say that the year didn’t start off too well.
I’m chuckling to myself a bit as I type this, because I’ve been through much worse than any of that, so even with all that happening, I knew that the Lord had a plan. That didn’t make me stress proof or anything like that, as I was constantly needing the Lord to untie the knots from my stomach. But there was a surety that the Lord had already established a plan for tomorrow, even though today was chaos (Kinda sounds like a Hallmark card).
As the Lord is so faithful, he had already worked out our next residence and immediately provided help. Without having gone through all of that earlier on in the year, I’m confident that I would not have been in the position to do what I wound up taking part in later, as the year progressed. That would be starting up this website and ministry online. If I had been more obedient earlier to do this, maybe things would have been different, I don’t know.
All the “stuff” that was lost is only regrettable when I want to use something that I know we had. More of an
annoyance really. There’s a funny thing about stuff that people don’t often think about. And that would be in the end, you can’t take any of it with you and it’s all going to burn anyways. That’s never a measure of one’s wealth, in the accumulation of stuff. The full measure of one’s wealth is proven by the test of fire as the Lord rewards you by your works when you are received unto him.
Works are for reward not approval. I see it in the scriptures as this: Works that we do in the service of the Lord (including obedience) are used to determine stuff we receive in heaven. But works are not a ticket to heaven, there’s no earning your way to heaven as Jesus took care of all that so none of us could boast about achieving anything ourselves to get there. The stuff we receive for eternity is what all of us should be looking toward, not this temporary earthly stuff.
Back to the year’s events… Despite those heavy hitters, the Lord’s hand has been evident the entire time. Both physically and also spiritually. I could go on and on about the spiritual attacks that have come our way throughout the entire year. Also the physical ailments between my wife and myself, are always present, like a thorn in the side (but God’s grace is always sufficient). Especially since the beginning of this site! Wow is the Lord faithful to come to the rescue and to give aid to those doing battle against the unseen forces of this world!
So the beginning half of 2015 was a little shaky, but the ladder half of the year was a blessing. The Lord has provided stability for my family in several different ways that I can not, he’s lead me to do this site and minister to others as he sees fit to allow, he prompted me to start and complete a book (which I’d never imagined ever doing completely in the past), and has been an ever present help during all times of trouble.
So that was a sum up of the major low’s and the major high’s on my end in 2015. If there is anything that I believe you could take from all of this, it would be that the Lord has a plan. It’s usually not anything that we think it SHOULD be, so it often begins with us kicking and screaming like little kids that have no clue why their parents do what they do for their own good.
But if you can grasp that particular understanding early on in whatever crisis you may face, that the Lord is either doing something or allowing something for a reason, it’s the first step toward pulling yourself outside of your circumstances and to see a bigger picture of what is really going on. Not removing you from it, but giving you a better perspective of either what the next step for you to take is, or giving you the strength to persevere.
God is able to do all things. All of this around us is a temporary thing. We are a fallen race of beings that have temporary residence in this fallen world. But we who are Born Again are not of this world, but are just passing through doing the Father’s business till we’re done. Then we’re responsible to give an account of what we’ve done with the things that we’ve been given charge over, all of which is found in God’s Word.
So keep that in mind as the world comes apart at the seems around you. Circumstances cause chaos, but isn’t the world at large already in a state of chaos? Take a good look and I believe that you’ll see that it usually is. And it will get worse out there. So don’t see chaotic things that transpire in your life as anything out of the ordinary, but just another thing that will pass eventually as God pays attention to how you handle it. How the Lord finds you handling a situation may impact what he’s going to do with you as you come out on the other side of it.
As always, I pray that this has blessed you in some way. So what do you think? Is it good to add personal testimony to a site such as this? Or is it better to stick with the truth of the Word itself, and leave me out of it as I’ve been doing? Please let me know, and thank you for reading Testimony of 2015!