A New Year Before Us!
The Year 2016 is now past
What does the Year 2017 have in store?
Greetings our dear friends. We begin the new year of 2017 with anticipation and expectation. We hope for something better, something higher, something more to our delight. Yet, realistically, we don’t know what God has in mind. As James tells us, “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (4:14).
As you may know, many popular personalities have gone in the past year or two: Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Henry Heimlich, Cliff Barrows, Dr. Denton Cooley, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Cole, Janet Reno, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Jan Crouch, Prince, Patty Duke, David Bowie, Shimon Peres, Florence Henderson, and Fidel Castro. Numerous men and women begin the year but, perhaps unexpectedly, they don’t reach the end.
As James continues, “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (4:15). Let’s commit the year of 2017 to God and trust that He will do what is for our good and for His glory. You or I may be added to the list above of people who have finished life’s race during the coming year. Or we may be only beginning life’s journey. Whatever God’s will may be, let’s trust Him to do all things well….
Life is a Journey
Our life is a journey of unknown duration. It is a voyage across the vast expanse of sea to an unknown shore. It is a race with a finish line that we strive to reach. But one thing we do know: It is “appointed” for us to “die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Foolish is the man or woman who makes no preparation for that sobering reality that lies out before us!
- Life is like a watch in the night (Psalm 90:4).
- It is like grass that withers (90:5-6).
- It is like a sigh (90:9).
- It is like a vapor that vanishes away (James 4:14).
- It is like a flower that falls off (1 Peter 1:24).
- It is like a flower of the field (Psalm 103:15).
- It is like mere breath (Psalm 39:5).
- It is like a passing shadow (Psalm 144:4).
Do you find these facts sobering? Life and death is no respecter of persons (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3) and death may come unexpectedly (Luke 12:16-21) or after a slow debilitating illness and decline (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8).
The good news is that we have hope through Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). He “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). May we find the joy and peace of knowing God through Christ this year and discover eternal life through His love and salvation.