If God is in control things, as He is. And if we truly know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). Then we can know that for the called who love God, that is any true Christian, it will be a good new year.
That does not necesarliy mean:
- all will go the way you want it to.
- it will be an easy year.
- you will have lots of money and good health.
- you will not suffer.
It has struck me how many people at the end of 2020 and into 2021 have just been expressing a desire that 2021 will be better than 2020. So many people are living for a return to normal. It is easy for us Christians to get caught up in this spirit, which essentially means living for circumstances.
This is foreign to the attitude which is demonstrated by God’s believing people in the New Testament. They lived for the Lord and not for circumstances. I so easily live for circumstances and convince myself I am living for the Lord.
Circumstances MAY turn out to be far worse in 2021 than they were in 2020. We cannot be sure at this point. But what we can be sure of is that those who love God and called by His Name are set for a good year. That is because the true believer experiences the fulness of spiritual experience in looking to the Lord and not to circumstances.
So I quote these astonishing verses from Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
Just stop and breathe in the themes of those verses. Habakkuk here is looking to the Lord and not what is going on around him. As a result he can rejoice.
If you are not a Christian you have no guarantee of a good new year. You are cast adrft on a sea of uncertain circumstances.
For the Christians though as we immerse ourselves in our Lord through prayer, the Word and fellowship with others we can anticipate a really good year in knowing our Lord Jesus more and more and growing in Him. Circumstances may be wonderful or they may be dreadful (or anything between), but with Christ as our great Lord it will be a good year.
So the question I face is whether or not I am looking to Christ as I enter this new year or looking to circumstances? Where is the sight of my soul as I enter 2021?
Oh and if in the pursuit of Christ happy circumstances develop in your life don’t despise them in some kind of super-spiritual masochism. Rather receive them as good gifts from Him and be thankful. But make sure your trust is always in your Lord and not your circumstances.