2021 is 5 days away. We’re getting ready to enter into a new year. I’m sure many of us have high expectations for 2021. Most of us are praying that 2021 will be better than 2020. However, just like we had high expectations for 2021 and looked forward to a new year of great things, we had those same expectations for 2020.
This year was a year like never before. We had never seen anything like this. A shortage of toilet paper. Are you kidding me? Must wear a mask! Really? A pandemic! What? A deadly virus! Oh my God!
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work” (World Health Organization). 1.73M people have died from COVID-19. The number of unemployed is at 10.7 million, which is 4.9 million higher than it was in February, which is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Balance.com). 2020 has been wild! Most people, if not everyone are tired of 2020.
But if we think about this year, there are so many things this year has taught us. 2020 has taught me how to pray more. How to worship God in different ways. How to seek God more. How to memorize and meditate on more Scriptures. It’s taught me the importance of family and relationships. How to be less selfish and more selfless. I’ve learned to notice the hand of God moving in my life more.
Some of you have become more tech savvy. Can anyone say, “ZOOM” or “MicroSoft Teams”? We’ve learned how to be creative and innovative, and how to be content with what we have.
Honestly, 2020 has shown us just where we stand in our relationship with Christ. Many of us learned that God wasn’t as important as we thought or claimed Him to be. Sadly, many of us drifted away from the church. Perhaps 2020 has taught us how easy it is to forget about God and worry about our issues. Maybe you learned many more things in 2020. But most importantly, I believe we have learned how to trust God more. We’ve called on His name more. Think about this year. What lessons God has taught you?
As we approach this new year, we have no idea what awaits us. We don’t know what is lurking around the corner. We don’t know what 2021 may bring. But what we do know is this: God is faithful. God has been there for us. God is with us. He’s Emmanuel. God can be trusted. God has proven Himself to be a trustworthy God. A loving God. The God who provided, ALWAYS. The God who is a Way-maker. The Healer. The Savior. The Redeemer. The Restorer. The Comforter and Protector who has kept us safe in the midst of a pandemic.
Yes, He is all of that!! And so much more!
No matter what may come our way in 2021, we can hope, confidently, in the Lord. We must! When sadness or sorrow come, hope in God. When depression, discouragement, and despair try to seep into our hearts and minds, we can rebuke those feelings and emotions by speaking over ourselves as the Psalmist did in Psalm 43. He asked himself the question:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; (v. 5a, NKJV) For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalms 43:5 NKJV)
Let us keep our hope in Christ Jesus, and praise His wonderful name! He is our Hope and He will never let us down. No matter what happens tomorrow. No matter what comes our way next year, let us continue to be hopeful in the everlasting God!!!
As we enter into a new year, what promises are you expecting God to fulfill?
I pray this prayer for you in 2021:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13, NLT)