Happy New Year!
Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last!
(Be Still My Soul, v. 2)
There are many years that we look forward to something different. This year is especially so. It has been a long weary time of dealing with coronavirus. We have been at war with an invisible enemy, and we are ready for things to be better!
It is good to be hopeful, and to look ahead to some new things. So often we do not like change, but in this case we are more than ready to be done with the pandemic. Yes, we are being warned not to “quit fighting too soon!” We need to continue to be diligent in our efforts to stay safe. Yet, we also know that physical safety, is not the only thing that matters. Our emotional health has been tested. Financial health has been tested. So we’re ready for better days!
In the Old Testament book of Joshua, we read of the Hebrews and the end of their long journey, and the new Promised Land they were entering. I have heard it said that people often fear the unknown more, than they do the present trials. And the story of the Exodus reminds us of that fact. There were many times when the people wanted to go back to Egypt. What God was promising for them didn’t seem to be worth the trip.
Who knows what lies ahead of us in 2021? We didn’t know that this past year would be so filled with loss, and fear, and unknowns.
We are hoping that the vaccines that have been developed so quickly will be effective, and will help us return to some things that we need, and enjoy. We are hoping for time together with our families. We are hoping for some vacations, and trips. We are hoping that we can talk to friends, and visit nursing homes, and attend the funerals of our loved ones.
But we don’t know for sure what lies ahead. It’s good to have hope. And our God is a God of hope. In 1 Corinthians 13, we are reminded that 3 things last forever: faith, hope, and love. If we have no hope, we are much more likely to give up.
There is a wonderful promise that we read in the first chapter of Joshua, in the Old Testament. It says, “Have I not commandedyou? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1.9)
As we move ahead into the year ahead, let’s remember God’s promise. He is with us wherever we go! If we are honest, we must even admit that He has been with us this past year too. We have seen blessings along with our difficulties. We have sensed God’s hand of provision. We have spent time with loved ones and friends. Through the lonely times we have still sensed His presence.
Yes, there will be some better days coming! And some hard days too. But, remember that God is with us, wherever we go.
Blessings, Pastor Mark