I wrote this last year in preparation for 2020. Who knew what last year would hold, I still believe we need to hold on to these same truths. It should not surprise me or us how timely these reminders were. They are anchored in God’s Word, yet I think we need to hear them again, and make sure we refocus our hearts ambition this year on remaining and abiding in Christ. John 15.
Welcome to 2020. Among all the 20/20 vision puns and hashtags of this new year and new decade we are bombarded with the ever-present need for perfection. This will obviously allude us all, but we will try, nonetheless. We will seek to capture it in a picture, a product, a weight, a relationship, or a moment. Even if we got there this year in one area of our lives, we would more than likely still search for it in another. What though will this year be like, we have absolutely no clue. We cannot be confident of what will happen this afternoon, let alone this year, so what do we do if this year is less than stellar.
Let me LASIK down some sight correcting truths that can guide us as we enter this new year so that if fiery trials arise, we will not be surprised (1 Peter 4:12).
1. The Bible makes it clear that things will be tough. Whether through persecution of our faith, or through sin and sickness as a result of the fall in Genesis 3, it is promised, it’s a part of life. (1 Peter 3:14; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Timothy 3:12; Galatians 6:2; Isaiah 43:2; James 1:12; John 16:33)
2. God is still good, in control, and working things out for our benefit and His glory even when things get difficult. How ultimate of a victor is our Lord that He can use the things the devil tries to use to destroy us to glorify His name and draw us to himself. We can be confident that God is doing an awesome work that can give us a deeper sense of His presence, which nothing could compare to. It is commonly said among those who have gone through difficulty that they recall more sweetly God’s presence while there. (Matthew 5:10; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 8:28)
3. Even if God does not change the outcome or circumstances, they may even get worse, we can still have hope that transcends this year, this decade, and this life. We can echo like those who have gone before us that even if He does not, we will not serve, or worship anyone or anything beside Him. We can be confident in an eternal home, a place where there is no suffering and where we will be with Him forever. (Daniel 3:18; Hebrews 11:36-40, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8)
So, with these firm truths in our minds we can endure, not by our own strength, but by our amazing Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This may be the best year, it could be the worst, it will probably fall somewhere in between, but either way…
“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (those who have lived lives of suffering in the same broken world as us) let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (knowing, being known by and making much of Jesus), looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2.
Scott Hoerner, Assoc. Min. of Youth & Young Adults