As I am writing this article, 2018 is coming to a close. It is hard to believe that another year has already passed us by. I tend to be very reflective at this time of the year. I think about the past year and all of its events, but I often look ahead to the New Year as well.
Where do you find yourself? Has 2018 been a good year for you? Maybe it has been a tough year. Perhaps you lost a job or a loved one. As I look back on my 2018, I had a lot of good times and a lot of tough times. There were moments of breakthrough, but there was also lots of battle. I felt there were areas of moving forward, but also times of resistance and feeling stuck. Looking back at this moment, I can see God’s hand through it all. He was there with me — even when I couldn’t sense His presence.
Now, a new year is upon us. What will it hold? Are you fearful as you enter into 2019? Are you worried about the future? As I head into the New Year, I have a lot of excitement but also some anxiety. There are new challenges that cause faith and fear. One minute I feel totally energized about the potential I see in 2019, and then my mind starts wondering if I am up to new challenges.
I guess the question is this: Will God be present in 2019? I believe the answer to this question is a resounding yes. No matter what you are facing, the Lord will be there for you in the coming year. We just celebrated the season of Christmas where we are reminded He is Immanuel – God with us. He is with us, and He is for us.
In Jeremiah 32:40-41, the Lord said, “ I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”
This is a promise that is worth coming back to again and again, and especially as we begin a new year. Can you think of any fact more encouraging than that God rejoices to do you good? God is completely good, and He always does good. And we see He is fully committed to doing good for his people. We know as we enter into 2019 that our God rejoices to do good to us and for us.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.” God does not fulfill this promise in a begrudgingly way. It is actually his joy to do you good. Now everything that comes our way is not good. Sometimes we experience very hard things, but God promises He can use it for good if we trust Him. Even in our most severe trials, God remains eternally committed to our good. If we hang on and stay close to Him, He can work all things for good.
There are times I get discouraged, but I must look my circumstances head on, and tackle my fears and thoughts with faith. I must remember and declare that I know that my God is good and He always rejoices to do me good, and that He can work all things for God. I can trust Him fully 100 percent.
And as I have done this through the years, God has always been faithful to nurture the spark of faith in my heart and life back into a fire of love and devotion to Him. So hang one, trust Him, and believe. Give thanks for all of 2018, and fully believe that God longs and rejoices to do good to you and for you in 2019. I believe.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at email@example.com or 634-2960.