A New Year of Wonder

With the close of a year, we should pause to reflect on what God has done. Too often we are so rushed from one activity to another and one season to another that we can easily forget to realize what God has done and to thank Him.

Being a church of vulnerable humans in a broken world, some of us will look back at 2016 as the worst year, while some will look at it as the best year, leaving the rest of us somewhere in between. Regardless of our experiences, we can all find things to praise and thank God for regarding 2016. Additionally, we can look to 2017 with hopeful anticipation and optimism…

I currently have a strong sense of wonder regarding 2017. I have a new ministry & mission, a new church, it’s a new year, there’s a new president, Heather has a new job, our girls are in new schools, our house still has a new feel, and we are constantly meeting new people & making new friends. I am excited to think what all God will do in this new year!

But, this does require some faith and trust. I could certainly choose fear and worry regarding 2017.

2016 was very blessed for us, but what if 2017 is tragic? In a world of increasing war, violence, terrorism, and hatred, plus political and economical instability it is quite easy to choose fear instead of trust. It certainly feels like fighting against the tide as a missionary to college students and young adults when the spiritual environment here is saturated with human wisdom, humanist agendas, God-less world views, moral irrelevance, and relative truth.

Despite the negativity and lies from the enemy, I will choose joy, trust, and hope for this new year. God’s word has certainly helped anchor me to this resolve, especially John 16:33 & Psalm 37.

John 16:33 (Jesus speaking)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 37:1-11 (by David)
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

So lets thank God for His blessings of 2016, and look to 2017 with wonder and hope, as we commit our ways to God, trusting Him, delighting in Him so that He may make our righteousness & justice shine like the sun! It is so exciting to think about all that we will be praising and thanking God for this time next year….


Other Posts You Might Like:

Spiritual Calories and Body Image - Laurie Templeton

When Orphans are Born - Mark Kennell

Role Models - Beau Davis

Craving - Edy Tercero

As It Is In Heaven - Casey McCollum

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