A snowball effect by definition is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself gaining momentum and impacting everything around it. One step of faith in your life can build to greater and greater steps of faith. One person in our community who chooses to step out and do what God has called them to inspires us all to go and do likewise.
Advent opens our eyes to the faithfulness of God to keep His promises in the past and we’re reassured the best is yet to come. We have no idea exactly when He will come again, but the Holy Spirit highlights those precious promises in the Bible that strengthen our faith. The same wonderful promises that inspire us to go and seek those who need to hear them. We are blessed and given a guide for fellowship with others in these promises. We are equipped and empowered for every good work by the promises.
There is plenty to give thanks for – over a year every human has thought about a lot, experienced a vast array of emotions and achieved much. I’m so glad there are Thanksgivings, where we honor that reverie to look back and acknowledge all that has occurred. The most poignant Thanksgiving meals have been the ones where our challenges, heartbreaks and disappointments are right there in the middle of it all. When we pause to reflect on gratitude in that moment, things tend to become crystal clear. When the budget is tight, we’re thankful that God has provided. When we’re facing the first holiday with someone missing, we’re thankful for the loved ones who are present. When something didn’t turn out the way we thought, we can thank God for hope in the future.
While it is true that you can’t earn salvation, some believe God’s gift costs them nothing. Others mistakenly believe that practicing religious rituals or doing good deeds is what God requires. Both extremes miss the way to receive God’s free gift. A heart that believes He is alive will know that is how we can go on living this life on earth and be with Him in heaven. And how good is this full circle moment? Romans 10:13-14 reminds us that when we call on the name of Jesus, we get to tell others!
A while ago our family went to Costa Rica for an extended mission outreach. We were a young family traveling with a one-year-old who was just learning to walk and talk. Traveling as a family was a logistical challenge, but we also found that our son was one of the greatest assets in our team.
We can know that God will provide will be a place of refreshment in the face of our biggest challenges in life. Maybe a worship song will come to you, or a friend will send you a Bible verse. Refreshment often comes in times of fellowship at church or when your Life Group prays for you – but these places are not parking lots. Can you imagine a runner sitting down and taking a nap at a water station? They keep running! There is a goal ahead and they don’t lose sight of that in the middle of a hill.