Today is New Years Eve and I would like to give a few thoughts about this past year, and I would like to speak a few words about our new incoming year.
As we all know, this has been quite the year. There is no need to go into every detail because we all have lived it. But what I would like to say is this, so many people here in America and around the world could tell story after story of the endure some hardships, go through some kind of trial, and so many people have seen others not make it through. I want to look at Lamentations 3: 1-10 for the writer, he too, went through many trials and hardships.
“I am the man who has seen misery because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Indeed, He has turned His hand against me repeatedly all the day. He has consumed my flesh and my skin, He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me live in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with cut stone; He has twisted my paths. He is to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in secret places.”
For so many people this year, it was like God turned His back on us. We prayed and prayed and prayed even more, but it seems like we are ending the year like we started. We ask where is God? My life has been turned upside down and my God seems like He is nowhere to be found. The writer goes to say this in
“My soul has been excluded from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, “My strength has failed, and so has my hope from the Lord.”Remember my misery and my homelessness, the wormwood and bitterness. My soul certainly remembers, and is bent over within me. I recall this to my mind, therefore I wait. The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end, for His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I wait for Him.”
The Lord is good to those who await Him, to the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep quiet, since He has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust; perhaps there is hope. Let him give his cheek to the one who is going to strike him; let him be filled with shame.
For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion”
God says to Isaiah in Isaiah 54 7-8, “For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.”
God has not abandoned us, He is only preparing us. This is what our Messiah told His disciples before the crucifixion. John 16: 31-33, “Do you now believe?” Yeshua replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5:4 tells us this, “For whoever has been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.”
Yes, God is preparing us for this new year, 2021 and possibly many years after. As we entered into the new decade last year, we saw what it brought and this whole decade may be a time of trials. Yeshua said this to His disciples in Matthew 16:2-3 “But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but are you unable to discern the signs of the times?”
We too, must discern the times. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.”
God has not abandoned us. He will never leave us or forsake us, but we must draw close to God, like never before. This is the time to let go of the world and hold on to God. He is our salvation. He is our hope. He is our refuge in the times of trouble. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Does this mean that everything will be the way I want it to be? No, this means that you will make it through the storms of life. Yeshua told His disciples this also in Mathew 24:4-14,
“Yeshua answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”
The Clarion just finished this month on it’s 8 part series of “Running with Horses.” We need to look good and hard at the signs of the times and we must be ready and alert. This is not the time to be sleeping, we must have oil in our lamps, waiting for the return of our Bridegroom. Does this mean that He is coming this year? No one knows the day or the time but we do know the signs. This new year we must draw ever so close to God. we must learn to walk with Him and trust Him in all situations. And know this, we may not know the future, but He does, and He will be with us, if we stay close to Him. Let us pray for a revival and a renewal of our lives. Let us truly be that light in the darkness. Let us truly be that clarion, shouting from the rooftop. Let us be like John the Baptist, one crying out in the wilderness, “prepare ye the way of the Lord.” This is our time to shine, our time to advance the Kingdom, our time to bear fruit. Trust in the Lord, for He will not forsake us, but will we forsake Him? Put on the full Armor of God and when you have done all that you can, then stand! Who will be standing when the Lord returns? Will it be You? Then put on faith and take hold of the Sword of the Spirit and I say, “Onward Christian Soldiers” for there is a battle to be won.
God Bless His people in 2021