2024 . . . a year of . . . ?
We stand on the precipice of a new year. What emotions does that stir up in you?
Fear? Excitement? Apprehension? All of the above?
Tell me about it. I’m right there with you, friend.
Scrolling through the scenarios I imagine so often, gives me this sense of uncertainty. Uncertainty that is based on the awareness of my limitations. Will I have what it takes to face whatever lies ahead? What about my family? Can I provide for my needs? Will I ever be financially stable?
While we can’t know the future, we must have faith our God, who does know the future. He will be right there with us.
This year, as we commit to walk intentionally and follow His guidelines, we can be sure that His power is more than sufficient for our needs in 2024.
What circumstances of life are overwhelming you? Take heart, you are not alone in this.
David, the shepherd king of Israel, rarely had a moment where he wasn’t crying out to God over some dire situation. Tears and fears marked the decades of his life. But reading the honest prayers he penned in the Psalms, he steadied himself in his great God.
As New Testament believers, do you realize we have an even more intimate relationship and knowledge of our God than David had? Look to Jesus! He has made so many great and precious promises.
He tells us emphatically, “Fear not little flock, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
“I will never, no never, leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20.
One of my favorite Old Testament passages goes like this:
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He; I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue” (Isaiah 46:4).
Believe these words that will never pass away.
Read them aloud, even now.
We are given one name to turn to—the only Name, Jesus Christ.
He is real, He is the Son of God, He is good.
He is present. Here, right now.
He loves us.
He loves me, His beloved daughter.
He loves you, His beloved sheep and children.
Looking back with regret and rehashing what God has forgiven, is rarely a healthy thing to do. The apostle Paul’s mistakes and shortcomings were not weights for him to carry. Christ already bore the cost of his sin.
For that reason, Paul could forget his regrets. There were some significant regrets in his rearview mirror. Yesterday’s baggage threatened to weigh him down, but he resisted and set his gaze straight ahead.
Don’t look back at regrets—look back and remember the many ways God has been faithful. As the old song goes, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.”
Why are we quick to recount our trials, yet we fail miserably at recalling our blessings and God’s past faithfulness?
You’ve heard it said that God’s past faithfulness demands our present trust. Thanksgiving must be a part of our daily prayers.
Think of it. Has He not chosen and adopted you? Forgiven you in His mercy?
Has He not brought you safe thus far? Has He not kept you, delivered you, even in your deepest trials?
“I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love” (Isaiah 63:7).
Think of the many “dangers, toils and snares” through which you’ve already come. Has He not saved you? Will He not save you still? Yes!
So, as we enter 2024, let’s exercise our faith, small as it may be, and preach to ourselves. God has been faithful to me in the past, and He certainly will be faithful this year!
What does God promise us and say about our future? Ah, this is the best part of this exercise.
In Romans 8:18, Paul tells us how we should think when we think of what is ahead for us. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
The Bible never denies the fact that this Christian life involves trials, persecution, and suffering (2 Timothy 3:12).
But God also makes it clear that the wonderful blessings He offers so far surpass the sufferings that there is no comparison.
If you are in Christ, your citizenship is in heaven. You are a child of the King. Therefore, you have great hope, no matter what this year holds!
If the year holds triumph for you, remember that no present victory, joy, or pleasure on this earth can satisfy the hunger for heaven like Jesus does. Nothing rivals the joy we will feel when finally, we meet our Savior face to face.
If, perhaps, the year is filled with trials, hold tight to God’s promise to see us through, and one day He will wipe away your tears. How tender and precious is that image. God Himself, lovingly wiping your tears so you will see with perfect perspective all that we cannot see right now.
Friend, heaven awaits you and the feast will last eternally. It will be a place with no more crying and no more pain.
In this year of 2024, our present time of grace and blessing is part of our already but not yet. Our Comforter, Jesus’ holy presence in the storm is with us. Every moment. Each day. All this new year.
This future is so bright.
Better than good, it is glorious.
My friend, “steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiatives, God-provisions” (Luke 12:31, MSG).
Discover anew each day where these human concerns will be met.