Let us start the new year full of hope and with a living faith in all of God’s Word. Everything that is written in God’s Word is meant for our happiness and eternal gain. We should not sit around worrying about the Antichrist and all the misery that is to come over the earth. People will be full of fear because of all the evil that will come over the earth, all of which is the result of sin and pride. But we should be full of hope and wait for Christ and the eternal summer. (Luke 21:28-30.)
If we have a living faith in God and do the good things that God wants us to say and do, we will also harvest good things with blessing and peace, just as God promised. (Psalm 37:37.) When Jesus sent out His disciples with the gospel, He said that He had all power in heaven and on earth, and He promised that He would be with them always, to the end of time. (Matthew 28:18-20.)
We need to hold on to these promises and be full of joy. These promises are for disciples of Jesus who obey His word and teach others to do it. Then 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 then 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?” This is how much He loves us!
We do not understand everything that happens to us in life, but we must understand and be glad about this: that all things work together for our good if we love God (Romans 8:28), and that God will not let us be tempted more than we can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13.) We also know that everything that comes our way is God’s wisdom, which He has planned for our glory before the world began. (1 Corinthians 2:7.)
If we follow Christ, we are promised an inner peace and joy that cannot be taken away by anything or anyone. “So let us be thankful, because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. We should worship God in a way that pleases him with respect and fear.” Hebrews 12:28 (NCV). In the beginning this kingdom is as small as the smallest seed, but it is planted in us by God Himself. Here we have every possibility to 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. And 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, God’s Word is full of hope and comfort, for the time which is coming here on earth and for all eternity. In the coming times, He will show the greatness of His grace and goodness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7.)
As people we can’t fully understand the meaning of the time we are living in. Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus that they could see more clearly, so that they would know the hope to which God had called them, and that they would know how rich and glorious the blessings are that God’s people will receive, and how great His power is in those who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19.) If we see and understand our high, eternal, and glorious calling, then we cannot be worried or discouraged. Then we are like the woman in Proverbs 31:25 (GNT): “She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future.”
“But it’s not so easy to always be full of joy,” you could say. But one thing is very certain, and that is that things won’t get easier if you are not full of joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength, is written in Nehemiah 8:10. We must have this living hope and living faith as a foundation in our hearts when we come in trials, and we must have the invisible things before our eyes! Then our trials and troubles will be small and only for a short time, but they are helping us to get an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18.) This is how it will be when we have a living faith!
In the last days, unrighteousness will become more and more and the love of many will grow cold. But we will not be among them, but among the few whose love will not grow cold. The eternal light has come in our hearts, and it shall never go out but keep shining. Even if darkness and evil increase like never before around us, our lamps will be burning in the darkness of the night, just as Jesus said in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.
“Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.” Psalm 37:37 (NLT). “Tell those who do what is right that things will go well for them!” Isaiah 3:10 (NCV). If we have it like that, the new year will be a good year. And it will become better and better, and lighter and lighter, until we stand at home with God on Mount Zion!