Wow!  What a year!  Remember December 31, 2019 – back when we were all reflecting over the past year and facing 2020 with excited expectation?

Who knew this year would be like this?  Who ever dreamed the world would shut down due to a pandemic?  Who would have guessed there would be nationwide riots and protests fueled by racial tension and injustice?  Who would have thought the political divide could become worse?  

This year, we have faced fear, confusion, sickness, loss, anger, hatred, strife, division. The list goes on.  

Who knew?

God knew.

And, He wasn’t caught off guard.  He’s not surprised by the things that have happened this year, and He’s given us a promise that, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8, KJV)  God is constant, in an ever changing world, and at Cord of Three, we believe He is calling us to remain faithful and not be moved by what we see.  

We want to combat the division, hate, and strife by cultivating Christian community.  Cord of Three counselors have been addressing topics of developing a sense of community in our families, our churches and in the body of Christ with our clients.  But, before we can have Christian community with others, we must have communion with Christ.

We must learn who we are in Christ.  Let’s go back to the beginning.  Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness, And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  A few verses later we read “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (v.31).

We were created good.  We were not created for sickness, hatred, bitterness, anger, and strife.  We were created in God’s image, and God is good.  

• He is love (1 John 4:8).  

• He is merciful (Psalm 116:5).  

• He is true (John 3:33).  

• He is holy (Psalm 77:13).  

• He is faithful (2 Corinthians 1:18).  

Because God has created us in His image, we can be these things too!   “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Timothy 4:4).  That includes you!  You are not rejected because you were created good.  

“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”  We are God’s works.  That makes us wonderful! (Psalm 139:14).

One of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah:  “But now this says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you:  I have called you by your name, you are mine.’” (Isaiah 43:1, ESV)  Later in the chapter, God says all who are called by His name were created for His glory.  Our identity is found in belonging to God, and we were created for His glory!  

So how do we glorify Him?  

By doing good.  Acts 10:38 tells us “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  Jesus did good, because God was with Him.  As image-bearers, we do good, because God is with us.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  So now, we at Cord of Three are going to walk in Christian community.  We are going to love our families.  We are going to strengthen our marriages.  We are going to serve our churches.  We are going to love our brothers and sisters.  We are going to encourage the weak.  We are going to speak the truth in love. We are going to be patient with those who are struggling.  We are going to pray for those who persecute us.  We are going to live peaceably with all men.  Will you join us?

• Stacie Norman is a counselor with Cord of Three, a nonprofit Christian-based counseling service.