2020 is in the books. It is over and done with for good. We now enter 2021. What will this year look like? We already know we will face more unexpected challenges. We have already seen new trials come to our nation and world. Regardless of all that is fully to come, what we know is that 2021 also presents a year of fresh starts and new beginnings, and for that we can be thankful.
As we begin a new year, my mind wants to assume, project, anticipate, and plan, but what I need to do is set it on what I know to be true. I often tell my congregation not to focus on what they do not know, but on what they do know. Even though there is and forever will be much uncertainty in this life, there are many things we can be certain of and that give us encouragement.
As I began reflecting on 2021, here are a few certainties I am choosing to center on in my heart and mind. I pray these encourage you and give you peace, as they have me.
First, God holds the world and our lives in His hands. I love that reality. God spoke this world into existence and He holds it firmly within His grasp. It is incredibly comforting knowing that nothing will touch my life that God has not allowed, and if He allows it into my life, He has done so for a reason. I often tell my family, “At the end of the day, either we trust God or we don’t.” I am choosing to trust God and rest in the fact that He is in control. As Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God! It is Youwho have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” This is who our God is, and we lift our eyes to Him.
Second, God walks with us every minute of every day. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” We often focus too much on walking with God, when we need to remember that it is God who walks with us. Knowing that God walks with us helps give us peace and confidence. I often see this in my own children. When I am physically present with my children, it is amazing the confidence they display. They feel safe, protected, and loved. On an immensely greater level, that is how we should feel knowingthat the One who created all things and has power over all things, walks with us. Never forget that you are not alone. God loves you with a special and everlasting love.
Third, God cares for us more than we could ever imagine. I love the words of Jesus from Matthew 6, when He says, “…do not be anxious about your life…if God so clothes the grass of the field…would He not much more clothe you…your heavenly Father knows all that you need.” Rest in this today, God knows what you need and He will take care of you. Think about how much you love your kids and grandkids. Isn’t it comforting knowing that God loves you more than you love your family? Trust Him today. He’s got you and will meet your needs.
Finally, God has the final say on everything. The two words my family often uses are “but God”. That means God has the official and final say on our lives. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” while hanging on the Cross, it meant He had completed the work His Father gave Him to do. It meant that death would no longer have the final say on those who trust in Him. It meant that no matter what you face in this life, God has you covered through the power of death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. No matter what comes your way in 2021, if you have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, you are secure in every possible way.
In 2021, be still and know that God is God! Rest in these truths I have listed in this article. Above all, look to the One, Jesus Christ, who is the risen and conquering King of kings. Knowing these things help us to keep all things in proper perspective.