I love New Year’s. Not only for the jovial parties shared with friends, when we clink fluted glasses and countdown the final seconds of the year … I love the act of reflection. When we take stock of the previous year, with all of its high and lows and remember the things we have accomplished as well as the trials through which we have persevered … but most importantly, remembering the faithful presence of God through all of these circumstances. One year ends and another begins, we may find ourselves struggling with the pressure to have our goals outlined and intentions firmly set. We want to do things better — better ourselves and the world we live in. Or maybe we simply want to survive — for those of us who have endured hardship after hardship and feel as though we’re struggling to catch our breath.
Whether we face the new year being driven and focused or weary and indifferent, our ability to find contentment hinges on how willing we are to wholly surrender ourselves to Christ. Our dreams and desires, our fears and uncertainties, our pain and brokenness — all to Him, who tenderly holds them in the palm of His hand. It’s something I must preach to myself daily because when it comes to trust and surrender, they’re not my defaults. More often I feel like my faith quivers as Peter’s did:
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’
So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” –Matthew 14:25-31
Do you relate? I know I do. I cannot count the times I have seen a boisterous wind come my way and instead of anchoring my faith in Jesus, I panic and become afraid. Yet He catches me, even when I fall. He proves His sovereignty and love again and again.
Much awaits us in 2020 that is yet to be unfolded. This New Year’s, I want to make space for Jesus in my plans. I want to anchor myself to His Word and will. Setting intentions are wonderful, exciting and even responsible for us to do … but at the end of the day, God alone comprehends what is best for our lives. As we stand on a threshold of many unknowns, I pray you find confidence in the following Scriptures as much as I do — five passages in which to anchor our faith for the new year. Let us entrust our unknown future to a known God, a God who knows us completely and loves us beyond all comprehension. May you all have a richly blessed new year!
TRUST AND SURRENDER …
Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established. –Proverbs 16:3
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand. –Psalm 37:23-24
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” –Matthew 10:29-31
GOSPEL-FOCUSED RESOLUTIONS …
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. –Romans 12:9-21
Build Community in a 2020 Bible Study
Looking for a place to learn about God or add community to your life? Sign up for a spring Bible study! Band of Brothers, our men’s group, is jumping into the book of Judges and its collection of wild but true stories of what happens when we take God for granted and stop letting Him rule. Women in the Word, our women’s group, will be talking about Jesus and His victorious return in “The Big Reveal: A Study of Revelation.” Follow the links below to sign up today.
Join us any Sunday!
Whatever your week was like, you’re welcome here at Christ Chapel. Gather with us on Sundays for community, worship and truth for your everyday life.
Fort Worth Campus: 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.
South Campus: 11 a.m.