What will 2016 hold for you, your family, the world? The turning of the year seems to be a natural time to reflect on what is possible, probable, and hopeful.  With so much chaos in the world, how else can we face it, but with faith?  As Queen Elizabeth said in her Christmas message, “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope… ’The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ “

This year voters will elect a new President of the U.S., but the two political parties will remain polarized with starkly varying visions for the country. It is unlikely that pols will agree on what the problems are, much less the solutions.  The world will reel as Islamists advance their violent agenda for a worldwide caliphate.  Refugees will flee looking for peace; but will the violent hide among them?  Closer to home, births, graduations, weddings will delight.  You will encounter success, but also failure. Accidents, sickness, and death are possible, as this is the way of the world.

If you knew precisely what the coming year held, you would be mixed with fear, excitement, anger, anxiety, and joy. These are natural human emotions that can dictate your response to the known and unknown.  I submit to you that faith in God displaces emotional chaos and uncertainty.  I’m not speaking of faith that just hopes that things will work out, or that the worst won’t happen.  Faith is not the fatalistic surrender that “it was just meant to be.”  Authentic faith centers on God Himself, as He providentially accomplishes His good purposes in you and our world.  The faith that brings peace agrees with Joseph that what his brothers intended for evil, God intended for good; and with the three in the fiery furnace that God can deliver me, but even if He doesn’t I still trust Him alone.

Max Lucado says, “Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision, and knows the way we should go.” His challenge is to “Meet your fears with faith.”  Since God has already considered your future, and since he has a plan for your life in Christ, it only makes sense that you respond by trusting him with it.

“He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold I am making all things new’ ” (Rev. 21:5). So, with great anticipation and faith, let the New Year begin!