Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Before You Turn the Calendar

It's just about time to turn the calendar from the old year to the new. But in this moment -- standing on the threshold between 2014 and 2015 -- are you looking backwards or forwards?

In the year now past, the world saw some amazing and horrific moments. And each of our lives had its ups and downs. As we look at the New Year on the immediate horizon, many hopes, goals and dreams await, as do many uncertainties -- not to mention the old familiar problems we're dragging with us into the new.

How many times have you turned the page from December to January? How many calendars have you set aside? I can't get to New Year's Eve without thinking about how many times I've stood at this brink before. I think about the New Years Day celebrations I've seen come and go and, more to the point, how many or few are left? Personally, I find it hard to believe we're already 15 years into the "new" millennium.

Really? Is that possible?

One of the oldest psalms in the Bible was written by Moses. He was talking about just this topic, "The years of our life are 70, or even by reason of strength 80; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away" (Psalm 90:10).

Also, note how the fleeting nature of our life is brought out so clearly in the fifth stanza of the hymn, "O God, our Help in Ages Past":

"Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Soon bears us all away;
We fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the opening day."

As we age, New Year's Eve can be a depressing thing, and for some it's unsettling. But Moses points us to God's immortality. "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God" (Psalm 90:1-2).

Each new year is a reminder how temporary this earthly life is, but God reminds us He has always been here, is here now, and will be here forever. Jesus says just that in Revelation 1:8, "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

Because of Jesus' perfect life, innocent suffering and death, and glorious resurrection, we can have peace and joy as we stand at the beginning of another New Year. Though the coming year is -- to be sure -- filled with all kinds of unknowns, one thing is perfectly certain. Our God will be right here with us, bigger than any of our problems. No matter what we face, He offers His forgiveness, restoration, protection and rest. And after our last day, through Jesus Christ He promises us everlasting life. So let us remember as the New Year rings in, it's not a time to be gripped by fear, but a time to embrace God's eternal, unchanging promise in Jesus Christ our Savior.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

May the year ahead be a time of excellence and joy as you remember and honor the Father of all time, the Son He sent to save us, and the Holy Spirit who establishes and keeps us in that faith.

How do you plan on going boldly through the coming year? Do you have any pointers for those who get hung up on the changing of the calendar or who want to make a fresh start in 2015?

If so, you can click here and let us know.

No comments :