Wednesday, January 2, 2013
"A Very Good Year"
As the year 2013 begins, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can rejoice in promises of God that cannot be broken.
His presence - "I am with you always" declared the Lord Jesus, referencing a "with" so near that the Holy Spirit actually dwells "within" us (Matthew 28:20; I Corinthians 3:16). He will be with us wherever we are going, and will be awaiting us at every destination. Moreover, if we look behind, "goodness and mercy shall follow me" (Psalm 23:6). Our Heavenly Father gives to us much in Christ, but nothing compares to this, the gift of Himself, the fact of His abiding and enveloping presence.
His provision - "God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Our Lord's generosity knows no bounds, nor does His wisdom in administering to His children's requirements. His definition may differ with our fleshly perspective at times, but we nevertheless can have confidence in a provision graced with just the right supply, at just the right time.
His power - "Christ, the power of God" declared the Apostle Paul of the Savior (I Corinthians 1:24). Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and in every arena of life, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus enables us to do that which matters, namely, the will of God. "My strength is made perfect in weakness" declared God to Paul, and thus we go forth into the new year with the promise of enabling (II Corinthians 12:9). "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).
His purpose - believers live in the scope of God's "eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 3:11). Every moment of our lives is fraught with meaning as it teems with God's working in us and by us. We may not always understand what He is doing in any given moment. We can be sure, however, that He is working to glorify the Lord Jesus in us. Such knowledge and conviction infuses our moments with the necessary awareness that we matter. For the glory of God, we matter.
His punctuality - "My times are in Thy hands" (Psalm 31:15). God works in our lives according to His perfect schedule rather than our deluded and faulty notions of "When?" On nineteen occasions in the Psalms, the Holy Spirit allowed David to express the anguish of his heart regarding apparent Divine delays. "How long, Lord?" (Psalm 89:46). Could our brother of old speak to us now, he'd tell us that never once was God even a nanosecond late in being and doing whatever David needed. Our Lord's seeming delays are never actual delays, but rather the product of His loving determination to do for us just what we need, just when we need it.
His perfection - "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). A perfect Heart and a perfect Mind result in a perfect way. This we must believe about our Lord always in a fallen world, wherein a fallen devil and fallen flesh constantly raise questions about God's motives, means, and methods. We do well to remember that Satan is the father of lies, and the lie of all lies, beginning in Eden, involves the impugning of our Heavenly Father's character and way (Genesis 3:5). Whenever such a notion confronts us, we must arise within our hearts to reject it emphatically and categorically. As Job declared amid the ruins and ashes of a seemingly destroyed life, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15). Indeed, no one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so, and no one ever will. Because His way is perfect.
Finally, His panache - "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Our Lord would not have us merely exist in 2013, or even simply to live. He would rather have us to live "more abundantly" in the light of Paul's exultation, "To live is Christ!" (Philippians 1:21). Whether on mountaintops of beautiful vistas, or in valleys of shadows and darkness, or on the everyday plain of the mundane, the Lord Jesus offers us the promise of a life truly lived. Yes, awaiting us in 2013 is "the peace of God, "which passeth all understanding... joy unspeakable and full of glory... enabling that is exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think... life that has overcome the grave... and "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" (Philippians 4:7; I Peter 1:3; Ephesians 3:20; Matthew 28:6; Philippians 3:19). Again, where we are going in this year to come, our Lord is going with us. He will be awaiting us as we arrive at every destination, and He will be following us with goodness and mercy. In such assurance, this promises to be a very good year for the trusting sons and daughters in Christ. Let us go forth to greet it in the assurance of promises made by the One who "cannot lie," and whose faithfulness "reacheth unto the clouds" (Titus 1:2; Psalm 36:5). Yes, a very good year indeed awaits us.
"My expectation is from Him."