A good and happy new year!
Warmest wishes for the New Year from all of us at ActiveChristianity!
Let us enter into the new year with uplifted heads and a living faith in all of God’s word. Everything that is written there is meant for our happiness and eternal gain. Let us not sit around waiting for war, the Antichrist, and all the misery that is yet to come. People will be anxious in their despair because of all the evil that will come over the earth, all of which is the fruit of every kind of sin and pride. Let us expect Christ and the eternal summer with uplifted heads. (Luke 21:28-30.)
If we live by faith in God and sow the good things that God gives us grace to say and do, we will also harvest good things with blessing and peace according to the laws of righteousness. When Jesus sent out Hiss with the glorious gospel, He said that He had all power in heaven and on earth, and He promised that He would be with them always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20.) We need to hold on to this promise and rejoice in it. This applies to the disciples of Jesus who both keep His word and teach others to observe it. If we are of this flock, we are His own special people, the most precious ones He has on earth. In Romans 8:31, Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And continues in verse 32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” He loves us so much that He cannot do anything else.
We do not understand everything that meets us in life, but we must understand and rejoice in this: that all things work together for our good if we love God (Romans 8:28), and that God is faithful, who will not let us be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13.) We also know that everything that comes our way is God’s hidden wisdom, which He has ordained before the ages for our glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7.)
If we follow Christ, we are guaranteed an inner peace and joy that cannot be disturbed by anything or anyone. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28. To start with, this kingdom is as small as a mustard seed, but is born in us by God Himself by His word of truth. Within it is every possibility to develop and grow in God’s power and glory. This kingdom consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17.)
“My peace I give to you,” Jesus says in John 14:27. In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Paul writes: “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
For everyone who is God-fearing, the Scriptures are full of hope and comfort, for the time which is coming to us here on earth, and for all eternity. In the coming times, He will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7.)
As regular people we are not capable of understanding the significance of the time we are living in. Paul prayed forin Ephesus, that God would give them enlightened eyes of the heart, so they might know the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of their inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. (Ephesians 1:18-19.) If we have these enlightened eyes of the heart, so we see and understand our high, eternal, and glorious calling, then we cannot be anxious or discouraged. We are like the bride in Proverbs 31:25: “Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.”
“But it’s not that easy to continually be rejoicing,” you say. If there is one thing that is completely certain, it is that it absolutely does not get easier if you do not rejoice. The joy of the Lord is our strength. We must have that as a foundation in our hearts through a living hope and a living faith throughout alland adversity of all sorts. If we have the invisible before our eyes, then our tribulations are short-lived and light, and they work for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. This is how it will be when you have a living faith!
In the last days, unrighteousness will gain the upper hand and the love of many will grow cold. But we will not be among the many, but among the few in whom love cannot be quenched. The eternal light has been lit in our hearts and it shall never go out, but continue to shine in the heavenly dwellings. Even if darkness and evil increase like never before around us, we see that the five wise virgins stood with burning lamps in the darkness of night.
“Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace.” Psalm 37:37. “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them!” Isaiah 3:10. If that is how it is with us, then we will enter into a new and good year, and it will become better and better, and lighter and lighter, until we stand at home with God on Mt. Zion!
This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published with the title “A good New Year” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in January 1976.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.