"One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that He show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove His authority. He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!” (Matthew 16:1-3, NLT).
Nineteenth century politician Benjamin Disraeli said, “What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens.” Every New Year the experts try to determine what will happen in the year to come, politically, economically, socially and in technology. The tabloids consult astrologers and psychics who predict the future for the new year. Christians know that the future is not seen in the stars, or in the subconscious minds of so-called psychics. Even the brightest and best minds cannot predict what this new year holds for us.
Spiritually speaking, we should be wise as to our immediate future. In Matthew 16, Jesus chides the religious leaders for not discerning the times in which they were living. They were better at weather prediction than looking at what God says about their future.
What are some things we can anticipate in 2017?
We can anticipate God’s amazing grace! God will still be seeking the lost in 2017. “…[God] is not willing that any should perish, and He is giving more time for sinners to repent” (2 Peter 3:9, TLB).
Every believer should know that God works through human instrumentality to win the lost. “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile” (Romans 1:16, NLT). We have not passed unknowingly into a new age in which God no longer is seeking the lost. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). That has not changed because Christ has not changed., “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
We can anticipate God’s goodness! “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 107:1). Every new day gives us reason for expressing our gratitude to God who has made possible all things worth having in this life and the life to come. This Psalm begins with an admonition to all to give thanks to God. Why? Because He is good. It is because of God’s goodness, love and mercy that He gave His only Son to die for us (John 3:16). Now His “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
We can anticipate God’s Guidance! How often we say, “I just don’t know where to turn.” Even God’s children sometimes find themselves faced with an uncertain future. But we have a guide, “Take me by the hand; lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior…”(Psalm 25:5 MSG). The believer, the one who is secure in God’s love through Christ, can always rely on the guidance of God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
We can anticipate God’s Glory! Believers have looked for Christ’s return for more than 2000 years, maybe this year! Maybe 2017 will be the year we experience God’s glory in Christ’s return! All I know for certain is, He will come again! Listen to what Jesus Christ Himself said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3). God closes the book of Revelation with these words, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
We don’t have to consult social media, astrologers, psychics, economists or politicians to see what the coming year holds for us! The child of God needs only to consult his Bible, and be available to God, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Psalm 125:1). “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).
HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2017!
*Unless other wise noted the New King James Version of the Bible was used, Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The Message (MSG); and The Living Bible (TLB).