How to get through this year

Published 9:36 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

By Joseph Perry

Have you felt like the odds were already against you in this new year? Have you felt like the enemy was already calling the shots in your life as this year starts?

I don’t know what you are facing, nor do you know what I’m facing. But already this year, many of us already have a lot going on. We already have things that are before us that are pressing us and stressing us. As these moments come, we need to know how to navigate through these times.

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Judges 3 talks about a lot of chaos. It seemed like the children of Israel’s life had been turned upside down. It was a time when a lot of terrorism existed. It was a time when people lived in fear. It looked as though the enemy had taken over. There was no answer, no avenue out of these troublesome times.

But in this book, you can also find some key points that can get you through the new year, even in the midst of difficult times. First, you have to start where you are. The Israelites realized that if change were to begin, if they were to move forward, they would have to begin somewhere. They had to start right where they were. You don’t just wait around for something to happen. You can’t procrastinate. Things just don’t happen. Your dreams don’t always come overnight. Things don’t have to remain the way they are. But you have to start somewhere. What do you want to accomplish? What is it that you’re trying to get done? It only happens when you start where you are and carefully step forward toward all that is before you.

Also, you have to know what you have. That’s what the Israelites did. Whatever you have, use it. You don’t need everything, but if you have what the Lord has given you, then you can make it. Moses had a stick; David had a sling shot; one little boy had two fish and some barley loaves. But when God has gifted you with what you have, that’s really all you need. Whatever you need, it can be placed in your hand. Whatever you need, the Lord can give it to you, if you ask Him. Once it’s in your care, use it to help yourself and then launch out to help others. What you have can bless someone else.

Lastly, you have to do what you’re told. That’s one thing that the children of Israel failed to do at times. The Lord spoke to them, but they oftentimes wanted to do their own thing. How do you get through this year? You do whatever God leads you to do. He will show you how to deal with life one thing at a time. You may not be able to pay every bill off at one time. You may not be able to take two classes at a time. Learn to deal with one issue at a time. The key is listening to God. This year, so many voices will be calling you to do various things. But you have to listen to the main voice and trust Him to get you through each day.

Each day as He gets you through, you must give Him the glory, and you must give Him the praise. Don’t let people define you, and don’t let where you are define you. Every one of us can get through all of the odds in this year, if we let the Lord lead us.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at