Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler

2024, A Year of Hope

December 29, 2023 Tammy Toney-Butler Season 1 Episode 18
Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler
2024, A Year of Hope
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Show Notes Transcript

Many of us can feel hopeless as another year ends and one is beginning. We can focus on what we do not have instead of finding gratitude in what we do have. 

Blessings come in various packages, but can we identify them? Can we identify the right path when faced with a world full of temptation, darkness, and loss?  

How do we navigate the dark and find the Light? 

In this episode of Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler, we will provide a clear path forward and offer seeds of hope for 2024!

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Welcome to Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler. 

But we all know who the real host of this show is,  and that's Christ.

Holy Spirit come,

have Your way in this time we have together.

For this is about You,  not about me.  It is Your hour,  Your time,  Your words of Truth.

What is it that You want me to say?

I submit and surrender,  not my will, but Yours be done.

How often do we try to exert our own will,  chart our own course,

Fight battles we were never supposed to fight.

How many times  do we go to the same well to drink,

but yet,

 return to it again,  thirsty,  thirsty, 

never to be satisfied?

Because we were not drinking from the Well of Truth.  We were not drinking from the Well of Truth.

We must drink from the Well of Truth,

follow the true Gospel where it leads,

follow Christ,

His Glory,  His Truth,

His love for His sheep.

Are we expressing love towards others?

Are we drinking from contaminated wells,  expecting a different result?

In this hour, we must drink from the Wellspring of Living Water so that we never thirst again, or hunger again. 

We must eat from the Bread of Life.

Christ alone sustains us.  He is our Redeemer,  our Comforter.

He's the Great I Am.

He is God who came to earth so that we could be set free.  Christ is in us, living in each of us who follow Him.

We must follow Him in all that we do and all that we say.

In all that we gather.

Are we gathering up treasure that has no value for the Kingdom?  Or are we gathering up souls?

Are we preparing for His Coming?

Are we worshiping Him in Spirit and Truth?  Are we?

I struggle. We all struggle.

Dark days are ahead of us,  and He's the Light.  He's the Ray of Hope in a dark world.

He's our Comforter, our Advocate.

Our Guide along that narrow path of righteousness, for His Namesake.

 We can draw from His strength. 

We can draw from His strength.

We can't do this in our power.  Life's too hard.

We were never expected to go through life without our Compass, Guide, and Anchor: Christ,  the Holy Spirit, living in us, breathing. 

We are His temple.

Are you worshiping other gods that only bring you sorrow and pain?

Are you worshiping what the world views as valuable?  Are you storing up treasure?

Or in 2024, are you going to recognize the Truth? The only thing that matters is peace,  freedom from oppression and addiction, and walking in strength, power, and unity for the body of Christ.

We are not to cast stones at other believers; we are to pray for them.

Where many, many will be accused.  Great is the hour of deception,  where good is called evil and evil is called good.  We must be bearers of the Light,  of the Truth,
professing His Truth and His love to a dark, dying world filled with hopelessness and despair. 

Can we be the bearers of hope and truth and life?  That's what He's calling us to do.

How do we do that? 

We reflect.  On his goodness,  past,  where He's been there for us.  Every turn,  every stretch.  When we had no money in our bank account,  and a check appeared in the mailbox.

I remember that as a little girl when I prayed because the refrigerator would be empty.

We used to go into dumpsters and pick out food behind the stores because they would throw it out.  I'm not sure why, but we were made to gather it up.  I'm assuming it was because we were poor and needed it. 

I can remember the refrigerator being empty and eating mayonnaise sandwiches.  We started with meat and bread, and then towards the end of the week, all you could put on your bread was maybe mayonnaise and potato chips if you were lucky.

You grew up with an empty refrigerator.

Are your refrigerators empty now?  Are you wondering how you're going to fill them?  How are you going to feed your family?

How are you going to get by another second or another minute?  You have to trust me.  You have to believe that God's got it.  You have to believe that a check will come in the mail.

You have to hold steadfast in your faith,  even when you see nothing happening. 

You have to praise God in the middle of your circumstances,  holding steadfast on the Anchor of Truth, knowing He has delivered you in the past and will deliver you in the future.

I remember the empty refrigerator, and I would go to the mailbox.  And there would be an envelope, no address on it, nothing written, just in the mailbox,  and it would be money, cash,  and I would hop inside and skip inside, hand it over to my mother.

I think she had been praying for ways to feed her family.  My mother had her faults.  She opened me up to victimization.  But she tried to be a good mother as so many are trying,  struggling, trying to be good parents, trying to parent in a world that now has such an influence on their children.

Through technology.

How do we remain faithful to the Gospel and maintain the Spirit of Truth during these times? 

We have to focus on the love of Christ and His promises.  He will see us through; He will see us through every trial.  In my life, He has been there.

We look at scripture to guide us.

We look at  Matthew 5, the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount.

So it's kind of a guide map, a roadmap for followers of Christ and believers to follow so that we can be tethered to the Truth and not the world.  It can be challenging to discern the Truth when faced with so much darkness and trying to navigate your way on the right path to the Light.

Let us look to Scripture to guide us.  I'm reading Matthew 5 of the New International Version.

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
1: Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him
2: and he began to teach them.

Are we shepherding our sheep?  Are we teaching them the right way to walk?  Are we preparing them for the Coming of the Lord?

Are we watching over them, or are we storing up treasure? 

Focusing on things that don't matter, carnal things, and not spiritual things. 

Let's look at  Matthew 5.

The Beatitudes
He said:

3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

He said:
3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

[I had to read that again]

4: Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.

5: Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.

6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.

7: Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.

8: Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.

9: Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

10: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12: Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

[Continuing with the next section, picking up at verse 13]

Salt and Light
13: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

15: Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

That's what all this is about—giving Glory to God and being grateful,  even in the middle of a storm or a drought. 

Do not let circumstances dictate your faith; have faith in the middle of your circumstances, and speak to those mountains in your life, knowing that they'll move.

Christ has you tucked under His Wing and protected.

You are fearfully, beautifully, and wonderfully made.

Daughters and sons of the King. 

Do not let life get you down. 

He came to give us life, to give us hope, to get us through dark times so that we can walk in the Light and be bearers of the Light to a dark world.

Christ is in us.  His glory shines forth the longer we spend with Him, isolate, and get alone with Him.  The more we glow with His Truth.

Let that Truth change lives. Let that Truth change others.  Be that bearer of Light in the dark world. 

Do not be afraid to share your testimony.  Do not be afraid to enter rooms you don't feel you should be in. 

God qualifies you.  Walk out,  walk in your anointing.  Walk in His power.  Don't worry about what others say; what matters is the truth, how Christ sees you.

He sees you as holy vessels set apart for Kingdom use as long as you maintain your temple.  As long as you watch what goes in your ear gate and your eye.  

What music are you listening to?  What videos are you watching?  What TV shows are you watching?

Are you filling yourself with the true Gospel, with the Word of God,  with things that are soothing to the Spirit man?

Are you getting alone with God and waiting, waiting on that promise to be spoken over your life? His Word never returns void.  You'll be okay.

2024 will be a good year.

A year of hope,  a year of promise,  a year of love,  and a year that all those who have been in bondage will be set free,  free from addiction,  free from shame, guilt, fear, regret, and self-loathing,  set free by the Blood of the Lamb and the power of your testimony. 

Walk in the Light and walk in the Truth.

Stand steadfast in the winds of change.  You may have to adjust your sails,  but He will chart your course.  Follow Him and only Him.  Let only the Light of Christ be your guide,  the Light of Truth,  not the world's truth, but His Truth. 

How do you find His Truth?  You read His Word.  You read the Word of God.  You get into the scriptures, and He will speak to you through the scriptures.

Even if you only have 15 minutes a day,  you wake up 15 minutes early and start your day with the Foundation of the Word of God; let Him speak to you and not the world. Let Him define your worth.

You're worthy.  You matter.  There's a special place for you, a purpose you have to fulfill.

Don't stop believing in the Truth.  He spoke the Truth to you. You don't see anything changing.  Don't give up. 

He's got you,  He's got your family. He's got your children.  He's got that empty refrigerator, and I  prophesize that it will be filled and it will never run dry. 

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. Amen.

You will have what you need when you need it.

You call out to Him.

You call out to Him.

He will fulfill your every need.  Christ has never let me down,  ever,  never. 

He's come through,  given me double for my trouble,  exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask for, think, or imagine on more than one occasion.

I sold everything to follow Him.

I now have a  little house, 576 square feet, including the porch.

I'm broadcasting to you from my shed converted into my office.

A simplified life full of God's glory, grace, mercy, peace, hope, and stillness.

I have never been richer, happier, or full of joy in my life.

I am so grateful for everything I went through. 

Many of us had scars.  Jesus had stripes.  

You're going to be wounded,  but you'll rise above it. 
You have been wounded,  but you'll rise above it. 

This is your year.  

Rest on the promises of His Word.  

Trust in Him.  

Draw from the Wellspring of Living Water.  

Have faith to take that job offer or to put that foot in the Red Sea, so to speak.  

Start walking,  even when you see water on every side and storms brewing. 
Focus on Jesus.  Focus on the Truth; the Light will guide and keep you.

God bless you.  That's today's Reflective Hour.