How does a Christian see in a New Year? With dreams and excitement, or fear and resignation? New Year’s Eve Watch night services are really big in London, ours used to be two hours, the first hour putting to bed all the regrets from the year just past, the second hour recommitting ourselves to Gods purpose in the world and receiving s fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. One of the songs I love to sing at these services was:
“I know who holds the future, And I know who holds my hand,
With God things don’t just happen, Everything by Him is planned;
So as I face tomorrow With its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles- Give to Him my all.”
January is a great time to go a bit deeper in trusting the God of Miracles, and deal with some of the fearful giants in our lives. To take our eyes off our own concerns and look again at our God who stands before us with an inviting outstretched hand, saying to us
“Do not cling to events of the past, or dwell on what happened long ago. Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands’. (Isaiah 43:18,19 Msg)
New ways. New roads to go down in 2016. Rivers in the bad lands. Nothing will stop that. He is working his plan in history. He is moving history to a climax, a destiny. One day Jesus Christ will come back to Earth. Just as he is working in history to move events toward that day, he will work in your life for a purpose, too — if you’ll let him make a road through whatever is bad and ugly at the moment.
The Bible says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).
God is a realist. His Word doesn’t say that everything in our lives and in the world is good. There are bad things caused by us – war, rape, abortion, incest, child abuse,addiction. He doesn’t cause evil. We do that. God gives us the freedom to choose how to live, how to do relationships. Evil is the price of that freedom.
But the Bible says that God can make a way through these bad and ugly things. He can take the stupid, evil, and bad decisions I’ve made in my life and use them for good if I’ll trust him. ‘God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him’
If we love God then we can be sure that He will work every detail of this coming year into something good. But this promise is only for “those who love God.” It’s for those who trust God and say, “Here, Lord, you take all the broken, ugly pieces of my life and make something good out of them.”
And He will do that if we move forwards in faith in Him, watching for the new thing He is going to do. And when you hear the dismal news headlines every day, believe God is still in control, that He is still moving history to a climax.
One day God will work everything out for his purpose and so, because God is in control, let’s trust Him with everything — including the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives.