Thursday, January 19, 2023

FOCUS, Before Making Decisions in the New Year


I don’t have to tell a widow that the loss of your husband threw your whole life out of focus.
Initially, you most likely walked around in a daze, in shock and grief. There was so much paperwork to do, agencies to contact, decisions to be made with no partner to aid in all of this. Some of you had help and support from children and some decisions were made prior to his death. Still, you found yourself alone in your grief and maintaining a clear focus was most difficult for you. You may still, at times, find it difficult to do so weeks, months or years later.

While focusing and giving full attention to the ordinary decisions in life is important, it is even more important that you learn to turn your focus toward God before stepping out into the newness of life that God has for you now. Recall with me the story of Esther from the Bible. The Jews were set to be annihilated and Esther, as queen, was asked by her uncle to go to the king and intercede on their behalf. However, there was a law that stated that even the
queen didn’t go into the king’s presence without being summoned and if the king didn’t raise his golden  scepter to her, she would be put to death. Queen Esther informed her Uncle

Mordecai that 30 days had passed since the king had summoned her. Eventually Esther realized that God had her in the kingdom at just this time to intercede for her people, but still she didn’t just march right in. She asked her uncle to gather the Jews in the area to fast and pray for her for three days and she then declared that she and her maids would do the same. (Esther 4) Her entire focus was on God and seeing his guidance and protection. Esther is just one of many in the Bible who, before stepping out into the “unknown,” turned their focus on God and His leading,

As a widow, your life has been totally altered; it will never be the same. You will be getting advice from many sources and most of them well-intentioned. I encourage you to listen well and weigh that advice, but don’t make a move until you turn your focus to God. Why? It is only God who has the whole picture of your life. It is only He who can truly lead you into the path that is best for you. You can be totally secure knowing that He has your best interests at heart. Keep in mind these words, 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take, (Proverbs 3:5-6).

As you pray, you might want to make a list as options come to your mind. Look over your list 
to see if anything on it clearly violates any principles found in God’s Word. Eliminate those as they won’t be in God’s plan for you. You now have a realistic picture of your options to help
you make a responsible, God-honoring decision. If the focus of your heart has been to please God, taking into account Biblical principle along with any wise counsel you may have received, I suggest that you are ready to step out with the full confidence that God will work out His purposes through that decision. God alone knows the decisions you will face in 2023 and I encourage you to keep these guidelines in mind for both small and large decisions.

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to begin to focus on Jesus and His love for you. We have just come through the Christmas season where we commemorated His birth and all of the miracles surrounding it, but we serve a risen Savior who died for our sins and lives to be a present help in our lives here on earth. 

The new year looms on the horizon, but with your focus on God and His will, you can face it unafraid. Happy New Year to each of you!

Message by Shari Hervold
Friends Needing Friends International Widow Ministry

"Through It All"  by Marshall Hall & Lynda Randle

I don't own any rights to this song. It's for entertainment and worship song only.

Do you know Jesus...Here's how:

Admit your sins have separated you from God (Psalm 14:1-3: Rom 3:23)

Believe that God did something about your sins through Jesus Christ. (The final Pascal Lamb/Messiah) (Lev. 17:10: Heb 9:19-22.)

Commit - yourself to His righteous by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Isa 53:5: Col. 1:22) and do it today! (Isa 49:8: 2 Cor 6:2)

Father in Heaven, I'm sorry for the things I've done that are wrong: I am a sinner: forgive me. Thank you for loving me and sending your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin. Holy Spirit, come into my heart: Jesus be my Lord and Savior. I give You my life.  Amen