Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. As the new year begins, I wanted to share a few things God taught me in 2021.
If God has taught you any of these same lessons or anything different, comment below! I would love to hear what God has taught you this past year!
Before we go on to the lessons, I would like to mention that if there are any scripture verses below, they were the verses I held onto as I learned these lessons.
Okay, on to the lessons God taught me in 2021!:
- God’s timing is the best timing! – Romans 8:28 In early November, I caught the world famous Corona Virus (blog coming soon!). This sickness turned out to be a huge blessing in my life. One thing that made it such a blessing was the timing. Looking back now, I wouldn’t have wanted the sickness to come any earlier or any sooner!
- God has a plan – Jeremiah 29:11 During the time I had COVID, I was a part of a theatre production bound to take place in a week. That week taught me many lessons. One of them being God has a plan for our lives and it will prevail.
- God knows me – Psalm 139 In September, I was a part of a virtual conference put on by Steady on Ministries (livesteadyon.com). The virtual conference was all about Psalm 139, and how we are intimately known by God. This conference definitely set off in me the desire to know more about God’s love for me.
- I am not forgotten by Him– Earlier in the year, I began to feel forgotten by God, and I was losing confidence in my prayers. I don’t remember quite how it happened, but I remember there was one night when God revealed His great love to me. My Heavenly Father also reminded me that I am never forgotten by Him. He dries every tear we shed, and hears every prayer we speak.
- I am afraid to look stupid– This one is almost embarrassing to confess. However, anyone who is a perfectionist will understand. This is a lesson God has recently pressed upon my heart. He has shown me, (1) I have a humility/identity problem that is not rooted in Jesus, and (2), I need to trust that God has my best interest in mind, even when He is calling me to places where I think I may look “stupid.”
- Life is better when we surrender– Back in January, I was feeling a nudge from the Lord that I needed to surrender everything to Him. After doing so, I can’t tell you the weight that was lifted from my shoulders! I no longer had a need to worry, because I knew everything was in His hands.
- I can only do life in God’s strength – 2 Corinthians 12:10 This lesson is one I have to remind myself of almost every day. I, as a human, like to think I can take the day on in my own strength. However, anyone who has lived a number of years on earth can tell you, believing you can take the world on by yourself and succeed is impossible. Why? Simple, we aren’t strong enough. I need to be reminded daily, I can only do today in God’s strength. I think there is also a part of humanity in me that is humbled when I realize I can’t do it all.
- God loves me – 1 John 3:1 As I mentioned earlier, I am a perfectionist. This means I set high standards for myself and often forget I don’t need to be perfect in order for God to love me. There were a few times this year when it seemed God whispered in my ear, “I love you.” Often the phrase would repeat over and over in mind until I believed it (sometimes I still struggle to believe it, even though I know it is true). Thank the Lord for His great love!
- God’s not done with me yet– During the fall semester of 2021, God began to lead me to and through a situation I knew He wanted me to be in. This situation proved to me that I am on earth for a certain time and place. My life is not an accident; God wants to use me for His good purpose.
- He answers prayers – Genesis 16:13 So many prayers have been answered over this last year! One that stands out to me is my miracle story. I will be sharing this story soon (the blog that is coming soon!). However, for the sake of the blog, I will say that through God answering my prayers, I am reminded and convinced that God does indeed hear, see, and know the desires of our hearts!
- He is the God of peace- Psalm 23 In 2021, I started using the Enduring Word commentary to assist me in my quiet times with God. One particular morning I decided to read Psalm 23 (which was a God thing in and of itself). I soon looked up the commentary that went along with it (enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-2) and was filled with awe. I have always loved hearing people explain the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep, and comparing it to us and our Heavenly Father. However, this time it just seemed to come even more alive. When I came upon verse 2, it said that a shepherd knows the good places to bring his sheep, so that they may rest. When I read that, it completely changed the way I understood rest. God knows when and how I need to rest. I need only to let Him lead me to those places of rest.
- My relationship with God is a priority As the year went on, God began to tug at my heart in the area of how much time I was wasting on my phone, specifically, YouTube. I was watching and wasting valuable time watching other people’s lives, while at the same time wasting my life away. I began to also realize it was a way for me to give myself rest, while it was God who wanted to lead me to those green pastures. At first I was not happy about giving it up, but I knew my relationship with God was more important. So, I did it. Now, looking back I am glad I made the decision. I don’t want my rest and happiness to become idols in my life.
- He is faithful – 2 Timothy 2:13 This verse was such a great reminder and lesson on even though I may wander from God and His truth, He never wanders from me! I may stray, but He never will.
- Faith is having a confident trust- Hebrews 11:1 In the fall semester of 2021, I began the second year of doing an online girls Bible study. Our topic was faith. Though the topic may seem simple, I can tell you, it is not! Through doing that study, I have learned that faith is more than just believing in God. Faith is having a confident trust in who God is and knowing that He will never let me down.
- Do not fear – Isaiah 41:10 This idea of having “no fear” seemed to be an on going theme in my life last year. At the beginning of the year, God brought the verse Isaiah 41:10 into my life. I now have it memorized. Let me tell you, it has come in handy! Every time the enemy whispers fear into my heart, I speak this verse over me, and it brings freedom! We have nothing to fear, friends, except the one that can destroy both body and soul (Matthew 10:28). If you have not memorized this verse, I encourage you to do so!
Thank you for reading all of this, friends! I hope this brought encouragement to you that you are not alone in this life. If God can do these things for a messed up person like me, He can do it for you, too (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)!
Alyssa Rasor (and your Heavenly Father)