Happy new year! I hope your 2020 ended safely and that your 2021 has begun well. Say what you will about 2020, but there has certainly never been another year quite like it. I, for one, am not terribly sad to bid it adieu. As we embark on a new year, here are a few articles that may help guide or encourage you.
(Yesterday on the blog: Our Hearts Smile, Even If Our Faces Do Not)
Eliza Huie: “As the hype of Christmas settles into the rearview and you begin to regain some routine after the holidays, I want to encourage you to consider why it can be good to reflect on the value of treating the new year with fresh expectation and intention.”
I suppose this one is a day late, but still worth considering. “The prophet Abraham was given an opportunity late in his time on earth: he was challenged to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham didn’t just love his son, and didn’t just see him as a miraculously-provided boy, but probably also saw him as a last chance—at engendering and raising a son for establishing the covenanted legacy that Jehovah had promised. Last chances are always so poignant.”
“Constancy is something every human being craves. Knowing that, in the midst of all the upheaval and change that marks the course of life, there are anchor-points that provide stability along the way. But where can we find such certainty? It is an issue we become more acutely aware of as one year draws to its close and a new one begins – one that we are all aware of in different ways in the different seasons of life.”
“In the same way that everyone waited for the birth of 2000 with fascinated dread, we’re all holding our breath that 2021 will be the opposite. When the clock strikes midnight, we wait in hopeful expectation that all of the disappointment, chaos, and isolation of 2020 will fade away, ushering in a year of prosperity, peace, and happiness. We deserve it, right? Surely the dumpster fire that was 2020 won’t continue for another year?”
And speaking of the dumpster fire that was 2020, here are 5 lessons from the year that was.
“Among other heartbreaking characteristics, this stretch of the calendar in America has been driven, if not defined, by anger. So. Much. Anger. Deep, divisive, destructive anger has filled our land, our politics, and to an inexcusable extent, our churches. And when viewed through the lens of Scripture, it seems that so very little of it could be rightly seen as righteous indignation.”
Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.—J.I. Packer