What is something you would like to happen in the New Year? What is something that is possible, but you do not want to happen? These were my poll questions recently. How you would answer those?
Not surprisingly people want good things for family. A cure for a disease and pain affecting a grandfather. Calm at home. A single mom wants to buy a home for her children. A safe delivery of a healthy baby. For children to make friends and enjoy school. A stable job, steady work for husband. For the soldier to come home safely.
On the national scene, respondents want politicians to “come to their senses.” Better immigration policy. Truth from the media. Less crime.
Believers want people to experience true repentance and turn to Jesus. “If people don’t know the Lord, they’re missing out,” one said.
The second question elicited less varied responses. Some expressed concerns about their past decisions and the culture of sexual assaults and harassment. But most respondents had the same concern: nuclear weapons, North Korea and WWIII.
The final answer to saber-rattling is not more military might. God’s answer to the threat of war is the Prince of Peace. “For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a Child will be born to us…” (Isa. 9:5-6). People united in Christ have reason to avoid killing each other, so let us pray for a great awakening in both the DPRK and the U.S.
God has spoken to our hopes and fears. We hope for good things to happen, but that hope is temporal. Our ultimate hope is for creation to be set free from corruption and for the redemption we have in Christ. We eagerly await His promised return because He is our hope (Rom. 8:18-25, Col. 1:27).
As to fear, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Why? Because he was going away, only to return again. The answer to both our hopes and fears is that Jesus is coming again! That changes our perspective on what matters now.
Even if in 2018 our wants are unrealized and our concerns are, “Real satisfaction comes not in understanding God’s motives, but in understanding His character, in trusting in His promises, and in leaning on Him and resting in Him as the Sovereign who knows what He is doing and does all things well” (Joni Eareckson Tada).
Our omniscient, all-powerful, and perfectly good Heavenly Father knows what 2018 holds for you. His love for you casts out fear (1 Jn. 4:18). Your hope is in Him. May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.