Monday, December 30, 2013
Is there hope for you in the New Year?
For some, it will be from circumstances beyond their control, even with an authentic faith in God for His will to be done. The rain falls on the just and the unjust; sometimes, bad things happen to "good" people.
But for many, 2013 is ending with the reaping of what they have sown. They have placed their faith in other people or things instead of God. Now, like sinful Judah, they end the year with a frightful cry:
"'The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,' the people cry, 'yet we are not saved!'" Jeremiah 8:20.
In spite of their idols, they expected God to come through for them. Now, as the year ends badly, they are learning the hard way that you cannot have it both ways.
God is a jealous God!
But there is hope. The same prophet gives us a bigger picture of how God works with His creation ...
"This is what the Lord says: 'Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve'," Jeremiah 17:5-10.
Our hope for any new year and beyond is in Christ alone.
"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead," Acts 17:30-31.
"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness," 1 John 1:5-9.
So what is your 2014 going to be like? Will it be a year of enjoying the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Or one of desperation without God? The choice is yours, and it depends entirely on who Jesus Christ is to you. If you're ending 2013 badly, I urge you to call on the Lord, confess your sins to Him and repent of them, so that He may bring you true hope and peace in the days ahead.