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Welcome 2021

However your 2020 has been, it was not what any of us had anticipated.

The forced prophecies of God giving the church perfect 20/20 vision for the future seemed more like a bad “dad joke” at best. No one saw that one coming! 

And yet, here we are, stepping into a new year. Happy New Year!

This will be your best year yet! 

After not getting the speeder bike, Mandalorian armor and jet pack I wanted for Christmas, I was more than ready to move on. Making breakfast this morning, I couldn’t stop humming Taylor Swift’s hit single “Shake it Off;” ready for something new, I guess.

It’s interesting how people/we intrinsically look forward to “the next thing” so quickly. Each January (or Chinese New Year #fistbump), we turn the page on the calendar and expect things to be different.?

We can’t Go Back

People are hardwired with the need for hope. It can show up in many forms: A new relationship you think will meet all your needs. A new job. Winning the lottery. Buying the “thing” you always wanted (because you are addicted to the idea of having it). 

But the truth of why we all tend to look forward to the next year is the fact that we have to. We can’t go back. Everyone must move on to the new year. The old year is no more. 

Perhaps that is a mindset we also need regarding our walk in Christ. We are being made into the image of Christ (if we let Him do so). There is always something “new” happening when you follow Jesus. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Like last year, “old things have passed away.” Nothing you can do about that. The former life and the sins you did are all dead. Don’t return. Move on with Jesus. That is where you live now

But Control is an Illusion

Can we embrace our new opportunities and always-new life in Christ without feeling the need to control it? That’s tough, but keep trying. Controlling the future is an illusion.

The book of Proverbs gives us some good counsel:

  • “A man?s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
  • “There are many plans in a man?s heart, Nevertheless the Lord?s counsel?that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

Be prepared. You can and should make plans for the new year, but does anything in life really happen the way you expected? Nope!

Life is full of twists and turns no one can anticipate. There is no telling what is around the next turn. But if you are with Jesus, that is ALL you need. 

The future is not a prediction. It’s a promise. (credit Leonard Sweet)

“Hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). 

that sense of “future” you often feel is associated with the new year because by turning the page, you are permitted to wonder at what could be. That sense of wonder is built into humanity with God and can only be filled by God. 

Thankfully, God Cares

The God who makes promises and keeps them is the God who cares for you and your family. His love rules the day; every day.

God is good. He cannot be anything other than good. This means what whatever happens ?even the things we don’t understand. Even the pain or loss we feel. His goodness does not change. 

That can be a hard lesson. But if you meet someone who loves Jesus and has suffered tragedy, there is something different about them.

The breaking of their life often allows a breakthrough of God’s Spirit. When they pray, I listen. When they share their testimony, everyone stops and listens. We wonder at the story of God in their life. How His hand was upon them through it all. We marvel at God’s faithfulness.

We are thankful. God cares.

So as we look forward to this new year, we are making plans because of God’s faithfulness. We have a promise. And I want to discover what God has prepared for you and for me. It’s going to be good no matter what! 

“God is faithful,?” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

Welcome 2021.