January 13, 2021
Happy new year! I would be lying if I said there wasn’t skepticism in my voice when I speak this phrase. I do not think I have ever felt hesitation in my voice when wishing someone happy new year in the past. But 2021 has a different feel to it. Do you feel it too? There is a sense of mourning. Mourning over the potential loss of our nation; our freedoms. Sometimes it is difficult not to head into a downward spiral of negative thoughts and fears. I have avoided the news, even though I do not use mainstream media as my source, and even most of my podcasts. I just do not want to know. Don’t they say that ignorance is bliss? What I think I really want is to close my ears to the noise, because who really knows what the truth is, and focus open eyes on Jesus. Because the world, through the lens of the Bible and God’s promises, is a much happier place. And I want to enjoy this world that God created and this life that He has blessed me with.
Amid my frustration, fear, and sadness, the Lord led me to the Psalms. As I soaked up David’s beautiful and poetic words, I realized, yes, these words are about what was going on in David’s life and his seeking and finding the Lord; but what I was reading also sounded a lot like what is going on in this nation too. Psalm 46:10-11 says “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 50:22-23 says “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” Psalm 65:5b-7 says “O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: which by His strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.” “Stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people”. I love that phrase. That is what our Lord does for us. He quiets the noise. He brings peace. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul…” (Psalm 23:2-3a).
Have you ever looked up the word ‘tumult’? It means confusion and disorder. I do not know about you, but I see an awful lot of that in this nation. Confusion and disorder. It is exhausting. And it is not from God. The Bible tells us that God is a god of peace and order, not confusion and disorder. What is going on in this nation is straight up from the devil. We are in a spiritual battle. You know what else the Bible tells us, and directly from the mouth of God? “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) Amen!
The God of the Bible wins this war. And while this war is raging, I need to focus on Him. As I read Psalm 71, I was reminded of what I have in God as His child: “strong habitation”, “rock”, “fortress”, “thou art my hope”, “thou art my trust”, “thou art my strong refuge”. So, as I check off the days of 2021 as they pass, I will take in a deep breath and challenge myself to let go of the frustration, fear, and sadness and let God. Let God be who He is. I will put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17), I will allow the Lord to hold my right hand, and I will step into this battle with courage. God never promised comfort and ease in this life, but He did promise victory. So yes, Happy new year!