O give thanks to the Lord of lords, who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
When it comes to the New Year, I’m like many others: hope takes root in my being. I’m not really big on New Year’s Resolutions, but I am big on looking forward with anticipation to what the New Year will bring.
We have planned a major trip this summer, and I’m looking forward to that. We look forward to seeing our 9 grandchildren and their parents, as well as our single son over the coming months. I have registered for a one-day photography intensive to which I am also looking forward. We’ll host people in our home, enjoy some great friendships and other experiences.
We also anticipate welcoming a new associate pastor to St. John early this year. Together with the launch of Cypress Chapel, and the on-going mission of God at St. John, we anticipate many challenges and opportunities to see God’s faithfulness and favor at work in our lives.
All of these are blessings from God for which we will give thanks.
Truth be told, however, we have no idea of how the year will play out. There will surely be “crazy Ivans*” thrown our way along the path of 2016. Unexpected illnesses, a death or two, economic challenges, or personal struggles of one kind or another will surely come along.
That is why I keep in mind the foundation of life: the goodness and steadfast love of God. I also embrace a hope: God can accomplish abundantly far more than all we ask or imagine. These twin pillars of truth hold up a life of hope and confidence founded in God’s character and promises. For that reason I do give thanks to God for his past faithfulness, and give him the glory for his favor in Jesus Christ now, in the New Year, and forevermore!
- A “crazy Ivan”is an unexpected turn of events, or an unexpected and radical change in direction, literally or metaphorically. The term came to my attention in the movie Hunt for Red October, where it refers to a sudden change in direction of a Soviet submarine in an effort to see if the sub was being followed. Thankfully God is never surprised by our sudden changes in direction – nor by those around us. He knows all things and is never surprised by any turn of events.