It was a bittersweet day. This was the day my oldest son would move to his new university home. We had been preparing for this day for weeks. Closets and drawers were cleaned out and sorted into the "to take" pile and the "to leave" pile, and now, all of the things in the "to take" pile were neatly stowed in the car, the van, and the trailer. The trailer was hooked up to the van, the animals had been taken to their "away" home, and breakfast was ready when it happened: The Illustrator and The Nugget, the two newsletters of this ministry, vanished from the web, taking their entire subscription lists with them!

Years of accumulated subscriptions, completely gone. What would we do?

Earlier that morning, as I was farming out the animals, I had been overcome with the urge to listen to a song, and now, that same song was going around in my head: "Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be His name! Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise, when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say: Blessed be the name of the Lord!"**

What are You trying to tell me, Lord? I whispered.

The bridge began going through my mind then: "You give and take away, my heart is here to say, Lord blessed be Your name!"

But wait a minute. It's easy to praise God when things are going well, but am I also supposed to praise Him when the bad stuff sets in? How can I say "thanks, Lord!" For losing my job? How can I said, "Praise God!" When my spouse leaves me? How can I shout forth a mighty cry of joy when I lose my child? Tell me, how???

And I have to admit, I didn't really feel much like praising the Lord for the loss of the newsletters and their subscriber lists!

It really boils down to this: How much can we trust in God's perfect, unfailing love? Do we truly trust that He loves us enough to take care of us when things go wrong? Do we really believe His promises to take care of our loved ones in the face of trouble? Do we truly believe?  Let's take a close look at what a very familiar Psalm has to teach us:
Psalms 23:

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." (vs 1)

Notice, it doesn't say "I shall not want in good times" nor does it say "I shall not want because there will be no bad times". It says "I shall not want!"

 

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (vs 2,3a)

Why would He promise to lead us beside still waters if they were always still? Why would He need to RESTORE our souls, if there were never any problems? God's promise is to bring us back to still waters and to restore our souls in times of problems!

 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (vs 4)

This doesn't say we'll never have a brush with death or have to face the workings of the evil one! It says that through those situations, God is there, and He will comfort us!

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." (
vs 5)

 

Again, this doesn't say God will bless us with no enemies. Instead it says that God will bathe and bless us IN THE PRESENCE of our enemies!

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever." (
vs 6)

Friends, today is News Year's Eve for some of you, and for others of you, it is already New Year's Day. Either way, it is time to make a New Year's resolution. Will you join me today in resolving to trust in God's unfailing love, no matter what happens? Can we resolve together to turn every blessing of 2012 back to praise? And when bad times come, we will be just as quick to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord"?

If you will join me in this resolve, I will personally guarantee you that you will have a beautiful year. No, I'm not promising that there will be no problems. I'm promising that if you praise God's name through them, you will be filled with the peace the passes ALL understanding, and your happiness will over flow.

So what happened to the newsletters?

I decided right that morning that I was going to believe in God's unfailing love. My prayer became, "Lord, this is Your ministry, we are but Your humble servants. No matter what happens to this ministry today, Lord, Blessed be Your name!"

 

Not only did He recover the ministry, but He used this situation to give us a much better, more reliable and user-friendly way to keep God's Word flowing to the world through this ministry. He also used this situation to give you this New Year's message!

May His name be praised in both the good times and the bad throughout ALL of 2012!

In His love, Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.

**Blessed be the Name of the Lord, by Matt and Beth Redman. You can access this song by clicking on this link: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=568273