Praise the Lord & Trust in Him
New Year Wishes from Elias Bejjani

December 31/2009

To all my Family members, relatives, friends, fellow Lebanese & Canadians & supporters

Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O God full of mercy; Holy is your Only Son, Jesus-Christ our Lord and God; Holy is your life-giving Spirit. You are holy and the source of all blessings. For our salvation, your only-begotten Son took flesh from the Pure Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and by His divine plan of salvation redeemed and saved us.

With the beginning of the new year 2010, I call on you all; my beloved family members, relatives, fellow citizens in both Lebanon and Canada, friends & supporters to ask almighty God genuinely to shower on you and on your families the graces of health, prosperity, peace, faith, and hope

Let all put our burdens of 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 our 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.
Romans 8:16-19: "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."

We should not question or doubt God's deep love for each and every one of us. How could He not, as He 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. John 3:2 : "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is".

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. 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. Not allow vengeance to 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. (Matthew 13:43): "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear".

God's teachings in regards to vengeance is very clear . Romans 12:19-21: "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."

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.

We don’t have to carry anger, bitterness, resentment or revenge no matter what is our burden. Indeed we dare not because Jesus warned that an unforgiving heart will destroy you in the end (Matthew 6:15; 18:35).

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.
Daniel 12:2-3: "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever".

With this 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.

Corinthians 2:2-10: "But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"--these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the spirit searches everything, even the depths of God".

O Lord may your peace, your true love, your eternal and divine graces be with us and among us all the days of the new year and we will offer glory and thanksgiving to you, now and forever.

Happy New Year

*Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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