It looks pretty bleak as we enter a new year. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” is the constant refrain in the Star Wars movies. I ask myself, “What atrocity will I be confronted with today?” as I click on the news. There’s a lot of anger, stupidity, sadness, and hate. What real hope is there for humanity as we enter 2019?
God gave us His Son, Jesus. Suffering and evil do not have the last say in God’s plan. He loved the world and sent His one and only Son, that all who would believe in Him would have everlasting life. He is the way and truth and life, and the only way to be right in the world and with God is through Him. He is the source of hope as the world waxes worse.
There is no hope within ourselves. We look to Him, a righteous king who will replace all corrupt leaders. He is the perfect sacrifice, who will declare believers innocent before God. He provides His followers His Spirit, a counselor, and comforter, who works within His people to change their lives, to grow them and conform them and transform them into His image. He is our friend in times of trouble.
Jesus is the remedy we need to cure our illness, which is sin. Everyone sins and fall short of the glory of God. Everyone is infected with this disease. We need to be re-born and made anew, and this is the work He does. He gives us new life, full and eternal, the hour we first believe. We enter into His new world, His kingdom, and we are blessed with the first fruits of that harvest. We wait for Him to return to complete the good work He began.
In this new year, we have no need to fear because of Jesus. In Him and with Him and through Him, we can face the trials and tribulations of this day and those to come. What can man do to us? No weapon formed against us will prosper. He brings us to God, His wrath is stayed. We can know who God is through Jesus, for “if we see Him, we have seen the Father.”
God knows us and we have hope, in and through Christ. God knows our suffering and the weakness of our minds, body, and spirit. He is our great high priest and Savior who identifies with us, who calls us brother and helps us, who stands beside us. Nothing in this world gives us this satisfaction and hope. Life comes and goes in a moment, like “a candle in the wind” as Elton John sang.
The best gift we could ever receive this Christmas and in 2019 is God Himself. His presence brings us fullness of joy. “Whoever drinks of the water He gives will never be thirsty again. The water He gives will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).”