Temperatures have hit rock bottom and it seems people approach such weather in two different ways. There are those who embrace winter (or at least thumb their noses at the cold), like the pictures I saw of people jumping into frozen lakes to celebrate the new year. Then there are those who take off for warmer lands where they don’t have to worry about the cold. You might have your opinion of which way is better, but I’m glad I live in a cold climate where some kind of action is necessary. No one here gets to ignore -15º below zero. It forces us to make a choice about how we respond.

Difficulties of any kind force us to choose a response. We can embrace the challenges and thrive in the midst of our problems. Or we can take actions that eliminate those problems. Either way, troubles cause us to act and we are better off for it.

The bible celebrates the good that comes when we know God’s grace. It’s a hope that is available in good times and in difficulties. “But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5 CEB

However you face the January cold, may the love of God warm your heart. And may all your difficulties lead to hope in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Mark