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Encouragement and Lessons for New Beginnings

Paul is an Engineer. A graduate from a Catholic University. A rebel and a romantic...

A Haiku of Encouragement for the New Year

The author with the Majestic Mayon Volcano and lava trail as back ground.

The author with the Majestic Mayon Volcano and lava trail as back ground.

Face the New Year With God's Power!!!

The author with the Majestic Mayon Volcano as background.

The author with the Majestic Mayon Volcano as background.


Revelation 21:27

"But nothing unworthy will be allowed to enter. No one who is dirty minded or who tell lies will be there. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will be in the city."

A Year End Reflections and Encouragements for the New Year

A few hours from now 2018 will be over. My bible reading at this time of the year is in the Book of Revelations. I have read this book many times. However, after going through so much challenges this 2018, the verses in the Bible had more meaning to my life now.

From 2014 to 2017, I was at the top. I was winning awards year after year, speaking in conferences, judging pageants, driving my car, and money is always there. Then in February 2018, it was all taken away from me. The year 2018 is the year I lost so much. I lost my career, I lost my prominence, I lost friends, I lost family, and worst of all I lost my faith in God.

Frustrated and angry, I made attempts to take my own life because I cannot see God's hand at work in my situation anymore. So many times this year, I demanded God to show me a sign and to give me answers to my questions. But God was silent. His silence added to my frustration. I started drinking again and committing sexual sins. I hated people. I was murdering people in my mind. I have been a Christian since 2010. In the eight years I have been reflecting on God's words as written in the Bible, I already gained sufficient wisdom to know what is allowable and what sins would lead to death. But I completely threw away those lessons. I removed my sinful self from the Cross.

The uncanny thing is that while I am rebelling against God, I am still attending Worship Services, attending Cell Group Meetings, and reading the Bible. It was during those quiet times that I came across verses that spoke to my rebellious heart. Little by little,the faint whisper of the Word of God got louder. Until, God made me realize the reasons why I became a modern day Job. The reason for the season of testing is that the things I am doing, the things that I am hoping for, the things that I am desiring is replacing God in my life. The Altar that should be for God is now for my EGO. It took a year long testing for me to admit that I made a mistake. The reason I am lost is ME.

And as the year close, Revelation 21:27 pinched my heart. It made me ask the questions: Am I worthy to live in the Holy City with God and Jesus?; Are the activities I am wasting my time on now acceptable in Heaven?; How different am I from the murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all the liars?

Attempting to answer the questions made me feel sad. I am so broken. I am so unholy. I cannot live with a Holy God for eternity. I cannot make myself worthy. Then once again, my heart knew that Jesus is all that I need. Despite everything I did, God still revealed to me what eternity with Him is like. God made me feel that He wants to spend eternity with me.

I am a modern day Job. I am a lost sheep wanting to be found. I am the prodigal son who ended up eating food of the pigs. I could be you. So as the year comes to a close, let us give up the things that replaced God in our lives this year. Accept the salvation that God offers freely to us. Let us all remain faithful and be Christ-like so that our names will remain in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Yes, we are not perfect. But let us always remember that we have a Perfect God who loves us despite all our perceived imperfections.

Challenges and testings will still be present in our lives. But accepting the truth that we are God's Masterpiece can make us radiant and hopeful as we face all challenges this 2019 and the years after.

Other Bible Verses Perfect for the New Year

PSALM 39:4-7

4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

© 2018 Paul Balagtas


PoetikalyAnointed on December 31, 2018:

Thank you for that because I truly need it right now!

Paul Balagtas (author) from Philippines on December 31, 2018:

Thank you too PoetikalyAnointed for reading this. I was supposed to write it as a private journal but shared it anyways. Yup, 2018 was unusually challenging....But for sure God has something life changing in store this 2019. May you continue to experience the peace God gives...

PoetikalyAnointed on December 30, 2018:

Thank you for this, Paul!

Bless your heart for I know revealing You in such a way wasn't easy but all part of your healing. God Bless you and yours for the coming year.

Some of your words rang true as I read them. 2018 was a year of loss for me too...in so many ways. Like you, I know it was to make room for better...it just hurts while God works behind the scenes. It's a Blessing that He's there for us, even when we don't see or feel him.

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