Reference Point Devotional

An Exhortation

“Never, Never, Never Give Up.” — Winston Churchill

Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:17 NIV)

Here we go again…a new year.

Rather than beginning the calendar with a recitation of past losses, challenges, and hurts.

Rather than wondering, “What now?” or “What next?”

Let’s begin afresh and anew with God’s promises for this new season.

Will everything go right today? No.

Will I get it all right today? No, again.

The Good Lord promises that in this world we will have trouble and tribulation.  Not the promise we like to remember and quote. What else does the Lord say in response to this surety? He says, “take heart.” In John 16:33, Jesus tells us this so that in Him we may have peace.

I am so thankful Christ promises to be with us through it all – the constant in an ever-changing and often challenging work environment and world. He is the peace for our anxiety and stress.  He is the strength in our weakness and frailty.

The rewards God chooses to bestow through challenges may not be what we desire, want, or expect. According to Romans 5:3-4, challenges may be developing perseverance or endurance, character, and ultimately hope.

Circumstances may not improve or get better.  Second Corinthians 4:16-18, instructs that renewal may be daily and inward while even our bodies waste away.  He also promises that our temporary troubles achieve eternal results.  This promise was particularly comforting in the last year of my mother’s life as she went from a healthy, independent woman through a fall, and then failure to thrive, and on through her hospice care until her eternal homegoing.

So, brothers and sisters, how can we prepare for the new year?

Take heart, the Lord is with you (Joshua 1:9). In the midst of whatever is going on, going wrong, or what is happening at work or in your life, He will never leave you or forsake you.

Be intentional in developing an attitude of gratitude. The ability to give thanks in all circumstances – not for all circumstances – can positively impact physical and mental health.  To find contentment in our work is a gift from God (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

Take a break. Remember the Lord made the Sabbath for us. He did not need a day off but set the example that we are commanded to follow.  It will renew your strength to move forward.

The Hebrew word, “avad,” expresses the vocational call to worship, work, and serve. Remember the Lord has prepared good work for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  We are working for the Lord to accomplish His will in our lives for the good of others and to glorify Him. We can do all things through Him who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).

Allow me to encourage each of us this year, leaning into Christ for His strength that makes it possible to serve and worship in our work as librarians.

Noelle Keller

Noelle is the Director of Library Services at Huntington University. She has been an ACL member since 2000 and currently serves at the Spiritual Encouragement Team Coordinator.