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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Taking Certainty into 2013

The first of the year is usually a time of renewal and optimism.  In some sense, it’s like we get to start over. 
But for many, the coming of 2013 may be characterized more by uncertainty and doubt than by optimism and renewal.  We experienced several high profile mass murders in 2012, including the horrific school shooting in Connecticut just weeks before the end of the year.  The air of violence and insecurity is still freshly lingers.  Then there is the “fiscal cliff” crisis promising more economic uncertainty in the New Year.  No one knows what kind of taxes they’ll be paying.  Employers are afraid to create new jobs.  Many are convinced that we are headed directly for the kind of financial nightmare being experienced right now in parts of Europe.  On top of that, the future of health care is still a huge question mark.  It’s getting more expensive, not less, but we seem to be getting sicker, not better. 
Uncertainty.  We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but many of the signs we see indicate that it holds trouble.  So what are we to do?
In spite of appearances, not everything is uncertain.  There are numerous blessed certainties that we can take with us into 2013.  Here are a few things that we know to be true, that cannot fail:
1. God will remain on His throne in 2013.
Psa 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
Earthly rulers will come and go this year, but the sovereign ruler of all creation has been and always will be on the throne.  Even if the government and economy of the United States collapses, there will be nothing that is truly out of control.

2. God will without fail accomplish His holy will in 2013.
Eph 1:11 …[He] works all things according to the counsel of his will…
Some things may surprise us this year, both pleasant and unpleasant things, but nothing will surprise our God.  Nothing surprises Him because He has laid out His plan from the foundation of the world and He is actively accomplishing it.  All that we see that seems to be chaos has been precisely timed and implemented to bring ultimate glory to our God. 

3. God will cause all things to work out for the good of His people in 2013.
Rom 8:28-30 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Essentially, God is going to see to it that those who love Him are more like His Son at the end of 2013 than they were at the beginning.  All those who love Him are delighted by this truth.  There is nothing to fear.  We have only to look forward to greater conformity to the image of Christ.

4. God will grant us countless opportunities to bring Him glory in 2013.
1 Pet 2:9-12  9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
By how we handle adversity and conduct ourselves in the midst of trying times, we have the ability to cause the world around us to glorify God.  He has chosen us and given us this mandate.  We must recognize this and seize every opportunity He gives.

5. God will provide for all our needs in 2013.
Phi 4:19 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:32 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Psa 37:25 25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
We all have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  We will most likely be stretched in one or more of these areas this year.  But we can rest assured that what we absolutely need He will supply.  He already provided for our greatest need by giving His Son to save us from our sins.  He is more than capable of providing for lesser needs.

6. God will bring us closer to the return of His Son in 2013.
1 Thess 4:16-18 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
With every day, with every moment, we get closer to seeing our Savior.  The Father is orchestrating events all around us to usher in that day.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

God’s Word never changes.  And if we take the time, we can find countless other certainties there to bring us comfort and joy as we begin a new year.  May these certainties cause all uncertainties to fade before us as we trust Him in 2013.
Posted by Greg Birdwell

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