We did it! Some way or the other, each of us have navigated one of the most challenging, tumultuous, and grueling years in modern times. 2020 was unequivocally a year that kept everyone speechless. As it unfolded, because of the adversity we all had to adapt to, even the most unusual anomalies began to be shrugged off as if they were no big deal. However, do you remember what your expectations were heading into the new decade? I do not know about you, but I had very high hopes. January 1st, 2020, I made so many resolutions. I resolved to grow in my relationship with God, to make better financial decisions, and of course, I resolved to get healthy. Little did I know, a pandemic was going to force every single aspect of life to be altered.
How many of us had grand plans for this past year that were totally derailed? Weddings, graduations, vacations, and other events and milestones were, for the most part, entirely out of our control. Due to the virus, social distancing, masks, shelter in place rules, and other guidelines… our entire way of life was modified. Who could have foreseen such a rollercoaster year as we all got excited to have “2020 Vision”? While it is true that we will probably never have another year quite like the last one, I do hope that its hardships have taught us a thing or two about life on this Earth. I am just as excited about leaving 2020 in the rear-view mirror as anyone else. However, I worry about falling into the same trap I did last year of automatically assuming how 2021 will go.
As Kyle wrote about last week, we need to make plans. It is also important for us to resolve to be better in various aspects of our lives. Though, what happens if we find out our plans and resolutions are not aligned with God’s will? Now, I am not trying to speak for God or tell you that He doesn’t want you to get in shape or grow closer to Him. Many of our resolutions are from the purest of motives to improve our spiritual, physical, familial, or financial lives. However, I am trying to get us to take a moment and realize God already knows how this coming year will go. He knows the trials and storms that are coming. He knows the triumphs and times of peace that are coming. We can take solace in knowing that even though we have no idea how 2021 will go, that our great God does.
Instead of building the next year up in our minds as we did 2020, what if we just resolve to trust in God come what may? I promise you that the arrival of January 1st, 2021, will not rid the world of the problems this past year has created. There will still be people who lost their jobs. There will still be business owners that lost everything. There will still be people adjusting to life who lost their loved ones. There will still be the empty pews of those who lost their faith. So, instead of assuming all of our trials will be over, we need to learn the ultimate lesson from 2020… THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR HOME.
The brother of the Lord said it best, “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. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil,” James 4:13-16. You see, we have to realize that not a single one of us knows what will happen tomorrow. This past year should have taught us that fundamental truth. Instead of falling into the same trap of expecting what will come, we need to DECIDE to trust in God regardless. Good or bad. Anything less, and we are guilty of boasting in our arrogance, which God’s Word says, “All such boasting is evil.” I truly believe 2021 can be the most incredible year of our lives, but only if we stop worrying about WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW and focus on WHO HOLDS TOMORROW.
“I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day; I don’t borrow from its sunshine, For its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future, for I know what Jesus said; And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”
– Ira F. Stanphill, 1950
-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism