Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year...

New Beginnings!
Have you thought much about the prospects for this new year?  It would appear from the pundits the outlook is NOT good.  The world economy teeters on the brink. Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea among others seem poised to make news... and not the news we really want to read about.  The prospects of war are about as likely as rain in Ireland.  Yet there is HOPE.  Why?  Why hope in the midst of such hopelessness?

I think the better question is where?  Where is our hope?  Or where should it be?

You see I believe that most of the time we place our hope in entirely the wrong place... and I'm including myself here.  It's so easy to look at our resources(i.e. bank account, intellect, skills) our fortune(where I have the fortune to live and call home).  Yet the reality is these can all disappoint.  We could even say that Democracy, Communism, Capitalism, NATO, even the IMF can fail.  Aren't you glad you started reading this blog?  So where do we put our hope?  Where should we look?

I mean...

       Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
       Lord, hear my voice.
       Let your ears be attentive
       to my cry for mercy.

       If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
       Lord, who could stand?
       But with you there is forgiveness,
       so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

       I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
       and in his word I put my hope.
       I wait for the Lord
       more than watchmen wait for the morning,
       more than watchmen wait for the morning.

       Put your hope in the LORD,
       for with the LORD is unfailing love
       and with him is full redemption.
       He himself will redeem
       from all sin.
 

There's the answer from Psalm 130.  Put your hope in the Lord!  

I was recently reading in Job.  It's the story of a man who had everything and then lost it, ALL!  Yet we read in the midst of his misery and despair these powerful words, "I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.  I myself will see him with my own eyes - I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"  Job 19:25-27

I'm filled with HOPE as we prepare to welcome 2012.  Why? Think about it this way... this new year comes right in the middle of our celebration of Christmas.  Perhaps in that is the word we need to hear.  This new year comes as we celebrate: Immanuel, God with us!  As we enter the unknown of 2012, we can know we're NOT alone. We have this hope... JESUS, the HOPE of glory will be with us.  So... "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.  To this end, I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me." Col 1:28-29

Friends!  Happy New Year... and in the uncertainties of this new year, may the certainty of Christ's presence be YOURS!