It’s easy to feel very weary and discouraged as the year draws to a close, especially after all that we experienced over the past few months. Yet for the Christian, the Christmas and New Year season is a beautiful time to be reminded of the birth of our Saviour, the gift of salvation and the promises of peace, joy and hope that God gives us. It’s a time where we can reflect and reorient our gaze to God’s promises as we experience the blessings of a new year.
To help meditate on God’s goodness and promises, we asked some KCC team members and friends of KCC to share some of their stories of encouragement from the year. If you’ve been feeling this weariness and need some uplifting, we hope that these stories will be an encouragement to you too.
Recently Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28–30 have become more vivid for me. The promise of rest. The picture of walking with Jesus—yoked to him—with a light burden. It’s an opportunity to learn from his gentleness and humility. It’s a hope that keeps me from drowning under situational pressures.
– Jeremy, Graphic Designer
One of the books that encouraged me greatly this year was “Gentle & Lowly” by Dane Ortlund. In a year of isolation, anxiety and feeling weary over constant change, it was a timely reminder to look to Jesus and His heart for us. Each chapter reminded me that we can rest in Him and that our future with Him is promised. To quote Dane, “He doesn’t simply meet us at our place of need; he lives in our place of need. He never tires of sweeping us into his tender embrace. It is his very heart.”
– Patrizha, Social Media & Content Marketing Coordinator
During the recent lockdown, I was gifted a framed print of Isaiah 41:10. It reads, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This verse, which now hangs in my home, was a timely reminder of God’s hand and work in and amongst the chaos of what was happening in our nation. And yet, these words will still be an encouragement going into the new year, especially as my husband and I enter a new chapter of life with parenthood. It’s an encouragement to have no fear because God is for us and with us.
– Katherine, Event Coordinator
Paul shares this in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10: “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I've been encouraged and reminded this year that it is only in our weakness do we truly discover God’s strength. Through this, we started our Leaders' Stories series. I hope that people would watch and be encouraged by the interviews of people in ministry discovering personal weakness and the lessons they learnt about God's strength, so they can be reminded of this in their personal life too.
– L-T, Church Partnerships Director & BASECAMP Committee Chair
I caught up with a couple of peers who started ministry the same time I did. Like me, they were weary, bruised and carrying past pains from COVID, disappointments and relationships. Over this year, there has been news of institutional failures, podcasts of leadership brokeness; our ears have been haunted and we realise the reality of brokenness. Yet, speaking with my peers in ministry, we reflected that despite all the brokenness and pain Jesus is still walking in our midst to comfort. God's people continue to stay standing, or kneeling, in obedience, grace, repentance, compassion, gentleness and faith. Because Jesus "remains faithful" (1 Tim 2:13)."
– Sam, Onward Committee Chair
It's no secret that 2021 has had just as many ups and downs as its predecessor. I've been encouraged that despite another year of great change, Jesus/God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13). A shameless OneLove plug, but I remember being particularly encouraged by this in Jackie Hill Perry's devotional series. She states "holiness is not an aspect of God; holy is who He is through and through. His attributes are never at odds with one another, nor do they switch places depending on God's mood, they are Him." In a year where my disposition has been so volatile, I am thankful for a God who is unchanging, ever-loving and holy.
– Maddie, OneLove Committee Chair
Enjoyed this post? Check out our other Christmas and New Year posts!
6 Advent Resources for You this Christmas
With Christmas just right around the corner, we have partnered with The Wandering Bookseller to bring you a list of recommended advent resources for you this Christmas.
Read the full post here
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