Jim Jurmu | The Voice of Zion January 2024 - Editorial --
As a new year begins, we reflect on the years past. We see how God protects His children and blesses in so many ways. The prophet Isaiah writes, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” (Isa. 40:28,29). Without any strength or merit of our own, God preserves and protects in living faith, even when we feel we only have little faith.
With thankful hearts we look forward to yet another new year, a year in which we can believe, support and love one another and do the work of the kingdom, as God allows. At last summer’s LLC Annual Meeting, delegates with joyful hearts reviewed the work of the past and looked forward to the work before. They spoke of their support of the work and gave encouragement to those who serve. The delegates approved an operating plan which gives structure and direction to the work of the organization. We endeavor to do that which is entrusted to us. It is secure to do the work, trusting that God gives the increase.
The theme for the 2024 Operating Plan comes from the book of Isaiah. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (40:31). The Israelites became tired in their journey. They had lived in exile for decades. We too can become tired and weary in our lives. Trials of life come unexpectedly, and many have felt the spiritual battle these past years. These difficulties cause us to weary. Then we are reminded as were the Israelites, that the Lord is everlasting. He does not grow faint. It is then that we look forward with joy and hope.
As believers, we experience the battle against a three-fold enemy: the enemy of souls, the world, and our own flesh. Temptation often leads us into sin, draining our strength and causing us to stumble. We acknowledge our inability to overcome these burdens alone.
When facing life’s trials, our refuge lies in turning to God, who hears our pleas and extends His helping hand, as mentioned in Psalm 40:17, “I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” We can put our trust in God and His deliverance, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Ps. 34:19).
Jesus encourages us to turn to Him, promising rest and relief from the weight of our burdens (Matt. 11:28–30). This relief is found through the gospel, preached by the Holy Spirit and believed in our hearts. Through the gospel message, our burdens are lifted and our strength is renewed through God’s grace.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). Through faith we, as God’s children, are able to face each new day and continue our journey with confidence.
Looking back over the years since the formation of our church organization, we see how God gave strength to His children to continue to work. We wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength, every day and every moment. God knows us and sees us; He lifts us and carries us. He will carry us into a new day of work according to His will, when only we believe day by day.