[New Year 2020]
Indeed, it is that time of the year again. Christmas is over and we enjoy the lull of activities before the storm of responsibilities of a year ahead put us back into bustle-mode. The days after Christmas are our opportunity to calm down and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction over the last year and recent parties and get-togethers – rather, that is what I pray over every reader. If your December was the climax of a year of heartache and stress, keep reading. We are going to dig into the words for our future, guaranteed promises and certain salvation.
Time is an awe-inspiring concept of our existence on earth. We are captives of time – this dissatisfied, ferocious monster that drives our lives without mercy or exceptions. During calmer times, days and hours pass with the same unrelentless march as in times of crisis and love. The clock ticks and we trudge on like the mindless rookies in the hands of a screaming drill sergeant. We tramp and troop through the deep valleys and flooding rivers, over mountains and hills, by green pastures and waters of rest, wild wildernesses and dessert plains of life. We divide and name time to pretend some semblance of control. Weekend-days are for us, weekdays for work, holidays, feast-days – all to regulate the unknown, that giant of uncertainty we call the future. In the end everything is just a small puzzle piece in the mirage of mystery of the time to come. One telephone call, a single event, one word or accident can change everything in the blink of an eye.
For a child of God the future is a blessed time of promise and testimony. We do not fret or fear in the cloud of uncertainty. We experience the energy and reality of God’s plan and purpose for our life. Our future is the playing field of miracles, intervention and Holy Spirit guidance in the shadow of the Almighty and the secret place of the Most High (Psalms 91).
It is unknown but it is in the hands of the God who knows everything.
There is no doubt that earthly organizations and churches can be very frustrating and flawed. I have often been deeply disappointed in churches and their leaders, but in all the years of serving my heavenly Father, I have never been disappointed in Jesus and the provision and plan for my life. Sure, things have not always worked according to my plans and visions but looking back I can freely state that his plan was always better. The solution for disappointment in people and organizations is once again a deeper and closer walk with God. I “see” myself in the soft down under the Wing of the Almighty (Psalms 17:8; 36:7). It is a place of safety and strength to find the forgiveness and forbearance to walk on.
Church life is not always bad. It is in church that I learnt the songs that carry me through every trial of life. Sing with me:
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live for day to day
I don’t borrow from the sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand. [https://youtu.be/xWLm3asMiGo]
This YouTube version is somewhat dated, but more or less as I remember it. Gloria Gaither has written a lullaby for her children with these words:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know, yes I know
Who holds the future
And I know, Who holds my hand.
Both these songs make the point of a future of uncertainty and the certainty of God in the future. Eugene Peterson (author of The Message version of the Bible) writes that our response to the future is HOPE. [Pebbles 72]
Hope is not a blind, passive, ineffective, mind-exercise for a fuzzy everything-will-be-all right-attitude, mustering positive energy from somewhere in the universe. Hope is an active, positive, energetic stance meeting the future head on with the full force of heaven at its disposal.
Hope is a fundamental human motivation. We look ahead to something better to have or to experience, in spite of having no current proof of such.
Faith is defined by hope. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
Hope is action in the unseen. It is a view into the invisible to raise a patient expectation (Romans 8:24,25). It means that one can take possession of something in the future without any physical proof thereof.
John writes that when we “see” Jesus, we become like him (1 John 3:2). A Study of the person of Jesus works a transformation in our inner being.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3)
Hope calls for spiritual eyes. Natural eyes lead to desperate panic and fear, but the eagle eyes of soaring with God (Isaiah 40), give new perspective that fills us with the energy of expectation.
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.(Ephesians 3:20, The Message)
Look into the future with bold expectation. Let your spirit-man sing, let your soul live and let your body dance. Say out loud: Hallelujah, with a big smile on your face.