New Year, Same Promises
BY ANNA MAITLIN HUGHES
I remember sitting on the floor of my shower screaming. I remember laying on my back in the middle of my college dorm room, wondering when the nights would end. I searched low every evening, high every morning, and in between alcohol stained nights for something to make the lies of isolation cease.
That was January 2017.
Then by grace, God intervened. He dug through the wreckage and dove into tempests ever-so strong until he found a shipwrecked version of myself at the bottom of wasteland’s sea. Lovingly, the good shepherd put me on his shoulders and carried me.
In my deepest moment of desperation, I saw the gospel and its promises come to life in a way I had never experienced. The promises of Scripture became bread, and I clung to them for life. God was faithful to teach me, restore life to my bones, and renew in me fruits of the spirit I was convinced were lost. I woke every morning to hit my knees in prayer, only to continue throughout the day seeking times to steal away with the Lord in private. Slowly but surely, I found myself being restored by the beautiful promises of Scripture.
The Psalms came to life for me. They became personal cries and prayers of repentance for me, and I clung to their promises.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. – Psalm 51:10-12
While, I had nothing left in my tank, David’s contrite spirit in Psalm 51 became my soul’s cry every morning. I begged for restoration, and it came. I found that abiding looked a whole lot like being still. It looked like resting in the assurance that God is sovereign and I am not. But as I pressed into Christ, Satan seemed to scream even louder. For, Satan prowls, ready to devour at a moments notice (1 Peter 5:8). However, I clung to the promise that Satan’s tyranny is no match for God:
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” – Revelation 12:10
Satan’s reign has no dominion over those in Christ. And while he is free to roam, and has power over the air (Ephesians 2:2), one day he will be thrown down forever by our victorious king.
This past year I was believing the lies of isolation and defeat. However, today I know that I am victorious, by the blood of the lamb that was slain in my stead, and by the king who fights on my behalf in every moment. I found there is only one in whom I am able to put all my trust: Jesus Christ. He is the only one steady enough to bear my weight and carry me. Better yet, he is the perfect sacrifice, great redeemer, and assurance of every promise made by Scripture:
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. – 2 Corinthians 1:19-20
Every promise fulfilled – Old Testament prophecies, New Testament hopes. All Scripture finds its validation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the image of the invisible God, and in him is hope for a new year.
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