Sunday

Does the new year scare you?



2013

A new year. 

Does the thought fill you with anticipation or dread?  

Do you wonder if this will be the year Christ returns? Or the year in which you are diagnosed with cancer? Will it be the year that your political party triumphs, or the year our country takes giant steps toward its own destruction? In this new year, will your children make your proud, or break your heart?

It is no wonder that not everyone eagerly anticipates the calendar shift from a year that is almost complete to one that is replete with possibilities and unanswered questions. Will the new year be one of rejoicing, sorrow, or some of both? Questions like these can make even the most optimistic anxious.

It is for this reason that we must not enter the new year alone. We must set aside the possibilities and hold fast to the certainties. We must remind ourselves, as children of the living God, of the promises available to us as we stand on the threshold of the uncertain unfolding new year.

Psalm 121 reminds us that “the Lord is your keeper (or sentry)” In military terms, a sentry is one who guards, protects, and defends. He keeps watch so others may accomplish their tasks in safety. Sentries watch ahead of the army. Isaiah 52:12 tells us “the Lord will go before you.” Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd, a fitting description, since shepherds walk into unknown territory ahead of their sheep. As believers, we will never walk into a day or a year that the Lord hasn’t gone into ahead of us.

Sentries also watch behind. Their eyes search for ambushes and stealth attacks. Isaiah 58:8 confirms, “The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” With God as our sentry, we need never fear that something will sneak up on us while we are defenseless. God sees.

Sentries also watch while those around them sleep. Jehovah God does the same. “I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) Psalm 121:3-4 reminds us “He who keeps you will not slumber.” Victor Hugo, nineteenth century French author states, “When you have accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

 Does having the Lord as our sentry mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us? Of course not. However, as His children, we have the promise of Psalm 23 that tells us that should we even walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, for God is with us. It is on the basis of this promise and others like it, that say that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:6) that we can enter the New Year with gladness and trust.

Happy New Year!  

If you enjoyed this post, you might like "Approaching the New Year with Anticipation." (Click here.)


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Womanhood With Purpose




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11 comments:

  1. What an encouraging post! I love thinking of God watching over me like this, especially when the future so often seems uncertain. Thanks for sharing this & for visiting me at Doorkeeper. Blessings!

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    1. Renee,
      I just read in Genesis about God being Abraham's shield and protector -- now that's another piece of equipment our mighty advocate provides. I love it! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. Thank you for this post. I am glad with it.

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  3. Alicia H.11:00 AM

    May I add to this New Year's Eve post words of wisdom from Brother Job: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21). As I read these words this morning, I took comfort in the fact that no matter what the new year holds for me (and for all believers), whether prosperity or loss, whether rejoicing or sorrowing, whether laughter or tears, blessed be the name of the Lord. He is good.

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    1. Amen, Alicia. I think, too, of Habakkak's words, " Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills." Humbling and true of genuine faith.

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  4. God is good and we can rest in Him! Amen!

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  5. Your post reminded me of the verse in Proverbs 31 that says, "She laughs at the days to come" I would like to be able to do that someday, laugh instead of worry about the future. Thank you for this post and for linking up today!

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    1. Me too, Becky. As one with a tendency to worry, I have to capture every thought and hold it up to the light of scripture. If it contradicts, out it goes. Sometimes I'm better at this than others, but God's growing me! Thanks for stopping by today :)

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  6. Thanks for the reminders of some of God's promises to us, His children, as we enter a brand new year, Lori.
    One of my favorite scriptures - "Though the fig tree withers, . . . still I will trust in the Lord." (paraphrased)

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    1. I love that passage in Habakkuk, Buffy! It is a powerful declaration that serving God and trusting him is a non-negotiable, and not dependent on the circumstances of my life. Amen, sister!

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  7. I'm looking forward to the new year because I know He is in control. Thank you for sharing this encouraging post.

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