Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

A New Year Of Hope, Faith and Peace/ Elias Bejjani

 I wish that all those who read or follow my work in both Arabic and English will share with me a Biblical new year resolution that is derived from context of below Biblical Verse. A resolution and a vow to fight all through this new year the evil inside our minds and to tame all our instincts' of destructive lust and desires.
 "What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.  For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law. What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions;  in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups;  they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God. But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another. (Galatians 05/16-26)
Definitely it is very difficult to abide by this Godly resolution, BUT if we belief in ourselves and trust in Almighty God, Our loving Father, we shall make the resolution a reality and an achievement.
With a spirit of faith and self-trust, let us all welcome the new year, with an open hearts and extended hands to all others, especially to those family members, relatives, friends and acquaintances with whom we were not in good terms during the last year.
Let us on day one of this new year close the last year's messy page and open a new and totally blank one with full readiness for forgiveness, and a genuine willingness for recognizing our wrongdoings in a bid to come with a practical plan for repentance.
Let us all put our burdens, pain, sickness, deprivation, persecution, separation, broken hearts, disappointments, frustrations, bereavements, injustice, abandonment, and anger in the hands of Almighty God and follow the teachings of His Gospel. God, with his gracious wisdom and abundant generosity, shall definitely see in every way possible that we all safely overcome with faith and hope all kinds of failure temptations, hardships and difficulties. Let us all trust in Him and recognize that we are all His beloved children and that He has created us in his image.
"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God." (Romans 08:16-19)
We should never ever doubt God's deep love for each and every one of us. How could He not love us when we are His children. How could He abandon us when He has sent his only son, Jesus Christ to defeat death, give us the eternal life, suffer and be crucified so we, His children, can become purified and absolved from the original sin and be helped to walk safely the path of eternal salvation.
Let us ask Almighty God to help us live in peace and harmony with ourselves and others. Lead our steps into the righteous paths and grant us the strength of endurance and hold us back from the sin of hurting or hating others.
In this new year, Our Father, Almighty God, Grant us the graces of love, meekness, humbleness, transparency, honesty and forgiveness. Maintain our hearts and minds pure, and free from grudges and selfishness. Help us to remember that vengeance is evil and forgiveness is a Godly grace. We ask you not to allow vengeance take control of our lives.
Being faithful to God's holy teachings, is being loving and forgiving. For when we trust God and believe in His justice, we ought to leave Him punish those who are evil.
"Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear". (Matthew 13:43)
God's teachings in regards to vengeance is very clear: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, �Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ( Romans 12:19-21)
This verse frees us from the burden of taking justice into our own hands. It tells us "Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.� God will repay those who are righteous"..
Since God is going to take up our cause and see to it that justice is done, we should lay it down, work hard not to succumb to our human destructive and evil instincts.
Let us pray that during this new year, we don�t have to carry anger, bitterness, resentment or revenge no matter what is our burden because refusal to forgive will make it impossible for us to understand and experience the forgiveness of God for us. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). Then commenting on that prayer, Jesus said, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14-15).
Saint Paul says leave it to the wrath of God. �Then the wrath of God is defined further as God�s vengeance, �Vengeance is mine.� So wrath is connected with God�s response to something that deserves vengeance. And then it says, �I will repay.� So God�s wrath is treated as a repayment to man for something man has done. This simply means that the wrath of God is God�s settled anger toward sin expressed in the repayment of suitable vengeance on the guilty sinner. God will and shall see that justice is done on the Day of Judgment. So let us be forgiving and avoid any sort of vengeance.

With the 2013 new year, let us pray from the depth of our hearts for all those who hate and hold grudges against us. Let us ask almighty God to cure them from these evil ailments and grant us the grace of forgiveness and the strength of faith to keep loving them.
No one should forget that our live on this earth is too short, and that we must be righteous to deserve the eternal one in Heaven where there will be no pain or fights, but happiness and peace.
With the beginning of the new year, let us all ask almighty God to shower on every one the graces of health, prosperity, peace, faith, and hope. Let us pray for peace and tranquility in all countries, especially where devastating wars, conflicts, and discrimination are going on.
Happy New Year

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