The beginning of a new year brings with it excitement and a momentum for change unlike any other time of the year. It seems that the whole world is wanting to use this as a time to reset and reboot and start something new. But for many, the previous year might not have been what they hoped it would be.
The last year might have been a year of disappointments, loss, and pain.
The new year might just feel like more of the same.
But even if your 2017 was not what you expected, I believe that this new year can still be full of hope and promise. You see, God doesn’t waste our pain. I believe he uses each one to build our faith, encourage others, and ultimately to fulfil His purpose on the earth.
I saw this phrase again when reading the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. The scripture says in John 6:12 “After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”
The disciples brought Jesus the only thing they could find to feed the crowd…a little boy’s lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes. It was insignificant and from a human perspective would not make even a tiny dent in helping feed the crowd that day. But when this insignificant lunch was placed in the hands of Jesus, it was exponentially multiplied and the entire crowd was fed until they were full… and even leftovers remained.
You might feel that the past year left you with nothing to show for except for disappointment and loss.
I want to encourage you to bring even those things to the feet of Jesus. Ask Him to show you how what you experienced can be used for His kingdom. In my life, I have seen Him answer that prayer over and over again.
I pray that 2018 brings joy and love and peace to you. And I pray that with every trial that might come this year, you are able to navigate it differently because of what you allowed God to use from before.
In God’s economy, truly nothing is wasted.