The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were busier than most, and I've been sick for two weeks. But God works all things for our good (Romans 8), and my husband and I were blessed to be able to spend the holidays with our families. God even blessed my period of illness. I had time to reflect on my spiritual walk and to ponder how to draw even closer to Jesus in 2017. During the last days of December the Lord led me in His Word to read 2 Timothy. These verses were impressed upon my heart, and I share them in the hopes they will encourage someone else.
"...fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. (2 Tim.1:6-14, ESV)