Annus horribilis best describes the year we left behind. On many fronts a disastrous year, a year we never thought would bring so much illness, death, joblessness, poverty, and destroy families. But, amongst all of this, we also saw God doing wonders – people being healed, families restored, innovations coming to light, and new thriving businesses being formed.
We also saw, amidst the fear, many people reaching out to the less fortunate, not just thinking of themselves, but stepping out, and making a real difference to those in need.
On the one side of the coin, death and disaster, on the other side God’s amazing grace and provision. Never before have I seen the Lord work in such profound ways in the hearts of people, even those far away. Neither have I ever seen Proverbs 21:1 so much in action. Unknown people giving to help the less fortunate – yes, the Holy Spirit even going so far as to keep a 92-year old man awake in Greece, who phoned me up when lockdown started saying, “I cannot sleep. I am worried about your school – how can I help?”
“In the Lord’s hand, the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”
(Proverbs 21:1 – NIV)
And what about the New Year that lies ahead?
Are we out of the woods yet? No, perhaps the worst may still come, only God knows, and therefore we need to trust Him like never before. We need to pray in faith like never before, as Jesus instructed us to do (Mark 11:24). Will prayer make a difference? Yes! Prayer is the link that connects us with God. It is the bridge that spans every gulf and carries us safely over every chasm of danger or need. (Streams in the Desert Nov 2)
And as we seek God’s guidance, we will hear His voice, we will hear Him clearly say
“Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have,
because God has said
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid, what can mere mortals do to me?”
Let us therefore not stay in our strongholds of fear but step out boldly, going into the land of Judah (1 Samuel 22:5) – praising and thanking God for life, the new year given to us, and the opportunities that lie ahead while keeping our eyes on Him.
Let us always remember the words of George Müller, who said
“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
Come, my friend, join me in stepping out of our strongholds of fear into the new year in faith, praising God, and knowing that we are not alone because God promised that He will never leave us and never forsake us.
“Father, I thank and praise you for this new year. I praise you Lord as I also ask for Your help to continue praising You while stepping out of this stronghold of fear… in faith. I ask this Lord in the wonderful, wonderful name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
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