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A New Year

Posted by [email protected] on 27 December, 2021 at 0:35

A New Year?

As I consider the state of our country, re. Covid and its’ variants, and I reflect back on January 2021, is 2022 really a new year or a continuation? I guess it depends on how one looks at a new year. Is it an opportunity for change, a promise of something greater, or hope for the fulfillment of a long-delayed dream?

The scripture found in Habakkuk 3:17-18 immediately comes to mind when considering the word ‘hope’. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

The prophet Habakkuk ministered mainly to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Very distressed about the sinfulness of Judah’s kings, even though Josiah had instituted a number of spiritual reforms leading to a temporary return to God; Habakkuk questioned God as to why He did not punish the kingdom of Judah. Why was Judah allowed to continue on its’ course of idolatry instead of being made to account for their sinfulness? And when God responds that Judah would be punished by Babylon, the prophet then questions God about using an idolatrous and wicked nation to judge Judah. God then assures him Babylon would eventually be punished as well.

Habakkuk ends his discourse and disappointment with God’s responses by declaring his hope and trust in the Lord, in spite of the coming punishment the nation would endure; “….yet I will rejoice Even though the tiny nation would endure 70 years of exile, God would bring them back to their land, fulfilling His promise and through the prophet, Isaiah He revealed His ultimate promise: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”, ‘God with us’. (Isaiah 7:14) As the people of Judah could be hopeful in God’s promise, we too can rely on that same hope, that God has not left us to ourselves. Through the prophet Jeremiah, He also tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) ‘My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.’ (Hillsong, 7/3/2012).

What are you hoping for in 2022?

Pamela Barnes

 

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