Happy New Year! Stick a fork in the year 2021 — it is done, it is over. Gone! We thought 2021 was going to make up for all the hard times in 2020. Well, I am not sure that actually happened. I am sure some of you had a better year than 2020, but I know for some it was more of the same struggle — or maybe even a harder year.

Perhaps you had a great 2021. Maybe you got a promotion, your business took off or you met that special someone. There were lots of good spots in 2021 for sure, but I know people also continued to struggle with fear, loss, uncertainty, as well as living in a polarized culture. It seemed like another long and tiring year.

And now for another fresh start as we welcome in 2022, right? We sit and wonder what this new year will bring us. Will you bear us good gifts ‘22? Will you bring peace and prosperity? Or trouble and heartache?

I am pretty gun shy when it comes to guessing the future any more. Who knows what will happen? I am very used to the idea that our lives have parallel tracks of good and bad at the same time — sorrow and suffering running like railroad tracks that are always near each other.

The truth is that none of us know what will happen locally, nationally or globally in the coming year. We do not know the future, and what will personally happen in our lives. We have a blank slate that lays before us and we do not yet know how it will unfold and be filled in.

We will start the year with our resolutions and plans. We know some things we would like to accomplish and see happen. We will pursue our passions and chase our goals. Some will also make predictions for the coming year. Some believe Biden has done great things in office. Others feel he has done nothing to help, and we are worse off. There is already a prediction for a red wave backlash in the ’22 election cycle. People have different views on what will happen with our economy, our health and safety, our freedoms and our overall stability as a nation.

As we start the New Year, I know the Lord does not call us to live by human plans or predictions, but rather according to the promises of His Word. Our God makes promises not predictions. He wants us to live by His promises. God has made many promises for us in His Word. What are some of His most precious promises we have as we head into the New Year? Let’s examine a few.

God promises that can truly know God. This is why Jesus came. Jeremiah prophesied the word of the Lord: “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (Jeremiah 24:7). How about these many other promises to begin our year:

• Promise of a full forgiveness and a guilt free life found in 1 John 1:9.

Promise He will lead and direct us as we seek and follow Him in Proverbs 3:5-6.

• Promise He will keep His covenant of love with us in Deuteronomy 7:9.

• Promise of Eternal life in John 3:16.

• Promise of His Peace in John 14:27.

• Promise of abundant life in Jesus in John 10:10.

• Promise of his divine strength and power in Acts 1:8.

• Promise He will never leave us or forsake us in Hebrews 13:5.

As we look ahead to 2022, we may not not what the future holds, but we know Him who holds the future in our hands. He holds our lives and destinies in our hands, and He has given us many promises that we can trust in. His word never fails, and His promises are good not matter what the future throws at us. May we begin the New Year with our eyes and our faith fastened upon our God. My hope is not in a better year, my hope is in Him. My trust is in Him. Is yours? And that’s the Word.

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