Hope For a New Year

One of my favorite songs is an old hymn called “Because He Lives”. This is a song that I just can’t get out of my head for the past few months. Maybe it’s because of this crazy journey of starting a new church and all the uncertainty, stress, and even fear that comes with that. Whatever it is, I think that this is a great song to really connect with as we move into a new year.

I know that for many people the beginning of a new year is often more about relief that the previous year is coming to an end. It seems like every year around this time my social media feeds are fill with people talking about how bad this year has been and how they are going to really kill it in the new year. Often times the same people boasting about how good the new year is going to be will be cursing the year as it ends.

Where does your hope come from? All to often our hope is placed in our own ability to “get things done”. We are created in the image of God. In the very image of the one that created everything. So, we certainly do have a great potential to effect the course of our lives. However, there is one much greater that we can put our hope in.

Because He lives., I can face tomorrow. As the title of the song I mentioned above says, I can have hope because Jesus lives. You see, I have worked very hard in my life and still have often found things not working out as I had planned, hoped, or thought they would. In those moments it can be easy to lose hope. You see, we often place our hope on our own ability to “pull ourselves up by our boot straps” or to “get it done”. So, when this fails, what are we left with?

That’s why I take such comfort in this song. You see, my hope for tomorrow is not based on my own ability to fix things or to make things happen. Rather, my hope is based on the fact that the creator of the universe, Jesus, is ALIVE.

 Because He lives, all fear is gone. Many people will look at what I’ve said here and ask how they can KNOW that tomorrow will be better. The truth is, no matter what you do you can never know for certain what tomorrow will bring. We see instances all the time of people who have done everything right and still find their lives falling apart.

Hope is not about KNOWING that tomorrow is going to be better. Hope is about knowing that tomorrow CAN be better. You see, fear is not removed only when all the dangers are removed. Rather fear is removed when one has trust enough that the person in control will keep you safe. Think about riding in the car with someone you trust. Now, if you are a complete control freak, then you may experience anxiety no matter who is driving. But, suppose for a moment that you truly trust the person driving. When you do, you climb into the car without fear. This is not because every danger has been removed. No, your fear is gone because you trust the person that is in control to keep you safe.

That’s why trust in Jesus can remove fear for tomorrow. It is not because we KNOW that nothing bad is going to happen. It’s because we know that Jesus is in control and we trust that even when bad things do happen that Jesus is still in control and has a plan for us, even in the bad times.

Because I know He holds MY future.  Ok, this line from the song actually says, “Because I know He holds THE future”, but I have always liked to substitute “MY” where “THE” is supposed to be. This serves as a reminder that not only does Jesus hold THE future, He holds MY future. He loves me and wants to see my future be awesome. This is not a “name it and claim it”, “God will give you a new car” kinda thing. But, Jesus did say that He came that we could have life and that we could have it to the full.

As you face tomorrow and 2018, it might help to consider this line and put “MY” in place of “THE” when you sing it. Heck, you could even put your own name in there. “Because I know He holds Matt’s future.” Wow, that has a nice ring to it.

And life is worth the living, just because He lives. Listen, life will not always go the way you planned or wanted it to go. You may invest years in a company, only to find that they care no more about you than they might a piece of equipment. You may invest years into a person, only to find that they are more interested in a moment of physical pleasure with someone else than a life with you. You may invest countless hours in your kids only to have them do things and make choices that you taught them not to make. You may invest blood, sweat, tears, and a TON of time into your own business only to have it crumble.

The truth is that none of us knows what tomorrow holds. None of us knows what 2018 will bring. But, what I DO know is that Jesus holds my future, and He is real and alive. For this reason, I know that life is worth the living. I know that, no matter how bad today gets, tomorrow can be better, because He lives.

Below is a link to this song. Take some time to listen to it. Replace “because I know He holds the future” with “because I know He holds MY future”. Even better put your name in there.

What to know more about how to get this hope? This hope starts with a relationship with Jesus. If you’d like to know more about how to start a relationship with Jesus, feel free to use the email link above to contact me. You can also find me on Facebook HERE.

Matt Norman

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