Well, I didn’t exactly bring in the new year with a bang. It was more like a whimper.
I started with "flu-like symptoms" on Thursday, and was still suffering with headache and fever through New Year’s Day. I’m finally on the mend, but it was not a good week.
Not one of us enjoys being sick. We take many precautions against illness. I got my flu shot earlier this year, I exercise regularly and I attempt to eat in a somewhat healthy manner. At the first sign of symptoms, I aggressively treat them in the hope that I can fight off any unwanted germs.
We are not always successful. Sometimes the illness comes, and you just have to tough it out.
The Bible refers to sin as a sickness of sorts. Salvation is often compared to wholeness, or being well. The truth is that Satan is real, and it is his desire to bring us down. He brings temptation our way, and too often we succumb to his advances.
The good news is two-fold. First, we do not have to sin. There is probably nothing I could have done to avoid the illness I faced last week. But I can choose to obey the Lord. The Bible says that whenever any temptation comes my way the Lord provides an escape for me. In the power of the Holy Spirit, I can choose righteousness.
But there is even better news than that. God knows that I am weak, and he knows I will too often choose the wrong route. Therefore, he has provided a way for me to be forgiven and restored.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
That is the good news of the Gospel. That is why Jesus came.
I pray that you will avoid sin in most circumstances, but also that you will seek the forgiveness that only the Lord can give you when you fail.