Life is filled with ups and downs; we daily encounter the predictable and the completely unexpected; things both joyous and painful that have the potential to temporarily take our breath away. This year, much like all others that have come and gone before, has been a mixed bag of both good things and bad. There have been celebration of births and mourning of deaths as well; there have been weddings and divorces; we’ve endured mass shootings harboring destruction, and experienced massive outpourings of love resulting in communities healing together; we’ve seen the violent force that fire can become as it ravaged everything in its path, but we’re also witnessing the bright and hopeful sprouts of green popping up on all the surrounding hills after just the littlest bit of rain. God is with us through it all, nothing escapes His care. His heart is on this roller coaster ride along with us; He rejoices with us in our times of joy, and He mourns with us in our times of sorrow. And despite the curves that loom ahead of us, He is never taken by surprise. He is our steadfast Rock of Salvation and our firm Foundation of Peace, no matter what we face. He is our hope eternal and in Him our confidence is secure, not because things in our lives are perfect, but because He is perfectly good to us through it all.
God’s love is lavish; His comfort is palpable; His power is endless; His grace is sufficient. Let’s pray for His blessing and an awareness of His Almighty Presence in our lives for the year we have ahead. Let’s also praise Him and give thanks for every day He gives us.
A Prayer for the New Year: "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you." Psalm 67:1-3 NIV