For some, maybe 2013 was a rough year. Maybe 2014 isn’t looking much better. But in many ways, good years and bad years are just a matter of perspective. I don’t want to discount the hard times you’ve faced, but I will say that no matter what you’ve been through, God is big enough to bring blessings out of your hardships.

Here are three truths to keep in mind that might make 2014 a success, no matter what storms you will find yourself in…

1. This too shall pass

It’s the idea that will keep us from getting too prideful when times are great, and too downtrodden when times are rough. Things change. Money, people, and circumstances ebb and flow. When things are good, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs both teach us not only to prepare for not-so-good times, but also to enjoy the season. If you’ve found that something is not passing as quickly as you want or need it to, try identifying which changes God has revealed to you that you’ve chosen to ignore either out of fear or stubbornness. Remember the definition of insanity: repeating the same thing but expecting a different result. Change (within yourself) is crucial for growth.

2. Adventures are rarely fun while you’re having them

Easy is boring and monotonous. It’s the struggle within a journey that makes us appreciate it later, and others want to hear about it later. No testimony for God’s awesome power of redemption ever seems to come from someone who was already at the mountaintop. It’s the journey up from the valley that illustrates redemption. Being in the middle of a testimony flat-out sucks sometimes. It’s painful because there’s often loss. It’s confusing because we don’t have the answers we want. But the victory is on its way. And the story of overcoming that pain and confusion will give the story about that victory a power that will make others want to hear about it.

3. God is already present in next year

Time itself is a measurement of light. And light was created by God. So our God is not confined to the limits of space or time. Whether you would rather call it predestination or something else, God knows what you will endure and what will bring you down next year just as well as he knows what you have endured and what has already brought you down because God is already there. He is above your timeline and is right at this very second just as present with you ten years from now as He is with you right now. Why He hasn’t intervened as much as I hoped He would have, I don’t know. But then again, the darkness proves the sunshine. We can’t know what good looks like without a glimpse of evil, which is simply the absence of good. Stay focused on God and how to choose Him daily, and things will work themselves out.

References: Ecclesiastes 8:15; Proverbs 6:6-8; Genesis 1:3

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