Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year: Will 2012 Be Better?

A new year has begun. Much has been the talk about putting the old behind us and starting again with a fresh start. Indeed for many of us 2011 was a rough year, and we would like it to be so that we can forget the old and start new. For this writer personally 2011 was like a roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs. There was the long arduous task of getting a mortgage (low), in order to purchase our “new” home (high). There were employment uncertainties including deep cut backs in a part-time job (low), then the opportunity for my wife to work from home (high). Then there was Hurricane Irene. When I look back on it, 2011 was certainly not boring. It would have been nice if it were possible to cut out the lows and keep the highs of the year. I, at this point, as most of you, wonder if there is any reason to think that 2012 will be any better. Now that January has arrived, can we expect a fresh new start?

I also wonder if a fresh start is actually possible. After all, the problems of 2011 are still continuing. We’re still recovering from Irene. Bills continue to mount up. Our politically divided Congress appears at best dysfunctional. Presidential elections loom. Economic conditions are still very uncertain worldwide. There is political unrest throughout the globe. It seems there is no fresh start but a continuation of the same old, same old. So where is the euphoria of New Years Eve, and why the celebrations of New Years Day? Doesn’t the Mayan calendar tell us the world is about to end this year? Is there any room for optimism?

The scary thing is that what I have written above, except for the Mayan part, is true. If this was all that I had to go on I would be depressed. There is no reason to believe that 2012 will be any better than 2011, unless I consider God in the equation. Men will disappoint. Men will destroy. Men will fail to make things better. If I look to what men will do, there really is no hope. Just look to what men have accomplished up to this point. Things aren’t getting better but progressively getting more complicated and difficult. The solution, and there is one, is to be found in God, not men. The sooner our society sees this, the sooner we will have a real recovery, economic and otherwise.

Only the God of the Bible can promise us a new start. Matthew 11:28 tells us, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What a wonderful promise for the new year. God is in control. He has never left. All He asks is that we come to Him receiving His Son Jesus Christ (John 1:12) In addition, 2 Corinthians 5:17 states,” Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Only in Christ Jesus is there this new start. If I am in Him I need not fear the days ahead. While I may not know what may happen then, I do know my heavenly Father does know because He is already there. I also know He loves me and will provide all my needs. I just need to trust His love. What I can’t understand is the determination of many to proceed ahead without Him. This, I believe is recklessness to the fullest degree.

There is an element of our society that argues that the existence of God has never been proven, and that truly intelligent people will reject His existence. Such individuals look at Nature and can only marvel at the wonders brought about by Chance, bringing order out of chaos, contrary to natural law. The Bible believing Christian looks at Nature and marvels at the order God has made. Who is truly the ignorant one? The one who denies natural law or the one who looks to faith to expain those things only faith can explain [Hebrews 11:1-3: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.]. One can argue all He wants concerning the existence of God, but he will never know until he humbles himself at the foot of the old rugged Cross of Calvary. Self sufficiency will not cut it in these days of uncertainty. We need a Savior. This is Christ, the Lord. Only in Him do I find the certainties that enable me to keep on going on optimism. [And by the way, the Mayans are wrong, the world will not end for at least 1007 years (read the books of Daniel and Revelation)].

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