Christians cannot remain oblivious to the very real and dangerous
problems that exist in the world today both locally and worldwide, our news media inform us daily of the crises and hardships which so many suffer and we cannot but feel for those involved, even though there may be little we each can do. Only God’s Kingdom holds the final and complete solution. In the meantime, we have the assurance of God’s word given long ago that all those “will be kept in perfect peace whose hearts are stayed upon Jehovah”, those whose lives have been firmly established thereon for support. (Isa 26:3)
The promise of peace within a world of turmoil was reiterated by our Savior, through whom we have come to know God as our Heavenly Father – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto thee; let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid”. “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace”. (John 14:27, 16:33) Peace is His will for His followers!
Such peace is the treasure and privilege of all the Lord’s people and we do well to draw deeply upon this source of inner peace and rest in the Lord. Such peace will strengthen us and enable us to go forward in trust and assurance into the new year, whatever 2017 may hold for us as individuals, as assemblies of God’s people, as part of that one Church “which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all”. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His”. (2 Tim 2:19) He who knows and loves each one of His children will surely be their peace, as they trust Him.
As we look back over 2016, can we say with Samuel “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” (1 Sam 7:12) Surely He has indeed done so for us each as we think carefully back over the experiences of the way. God’s promises do not fail as we are reminded in Lam 3:22,23 – “His compassions fail not, they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness”, also in 1 Thess 5:24 – “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it”. So in times of special stress when it seems that “help delays to come”, we need to trust Him even more, knowing “He will send the answer, though in wisdom oft delayed”. In such times, we can help one another, by prayer, by the word of encouragement, by practical support.
Yes, even in a troubled world, Christians may still know real joy, in the abiding presence of our dear Master, in present enjoyment of the great and precious promises of God, in the rich and satisfying truths of His Word as they have been opened up for us in these last days, in the glorious prospects for all mankind, when the dark night of sin gives way to the light of a new and glorious day. Such inner peace and hope and joy will help to sustain us each one whatever our experiences may be in the coming year.
At this turning point, then, when one year closes and another opens before us, let us take stock. What progress has been made “in the school of Christ” in faith and understanding, in character and daily living, in love for the brethren, in appreciation of the so great love of our Heavenly Father, in zeal for His service even in what may seem the smallest way, in the joy of our Lord? All these things are His will for us, let us resolve then to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race which is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”. (Heb 12:1)
May we each prove ”more than conqueror” through Him
who loved us. Amen.