Happy New Year!
Well, we made it! The year 2020 is behind us. Finally! I can’t remember when I’ve been so relieved to see a three-hundred-sixty-five-day period end and a new year begin.
Whether or not we feel any differently this morning than we did last night when we laid our heads on our pillows—this is a new day. Covid may still be on the loose, and quarantine still gnawing at our sense of well-being. Election results may still be up in the air, and tension ever-so real and in our faces, but a new day has indeed dawned. For us in Kansas City, it arrived with a pure-white blanket of snow covering our otherwise drab, bare-boned winterscape. I was comforted by it.
So, what makes this first day of 2021 so different from last night when we may have forgotten what good and happiness are and perhaps said, “Perished is my strength and my expectation from the Lord” (Lamentations 3:17–18)? For one, we woke up. Many didn’t. But this I call to my mind, and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (vs 22–23).
Our life stories are not yet complete. There’s much to do in 2021. This is a critical hour for us to wake up out of your sleep . . . For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (Romans 13:11). Though darkness will increase in this next hour, and our trials ramp up, it will be our finest hour yet. Arise and shine for your light is come and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1–2). God has equipped you and I with everything we need to live life on this earth and to live it godly and effectively (2 Peter 1:3). No matter what.
He has also promised to empower us to be bold witnesses. And if you’re asking, “Who, me?” Yes, you! Especially you. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant. And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:29–31).
So, this is my prayer for you, for me, for the church. We’ve prayed this often at Hope City KC because we know that God’s word will accomplish everything He intends (Ephesians 3:16–21).
Lord, I ask that You would grant us—according to the boundless, fathomless, incalculable, exhaustless riches of Your glory—to be strengthened with Your mighty power in our inner man;
That Christ would actually dwell in, settle down, abide, and make His permanent home in our hearts by faith;
That we would be rooted deep and grounded securely in Your love. Able to grasp and experience with all the saints—the breadth, length, the height, and depth of Your love. That we would really come to know practically, through experience for ourselves, the love of Christ which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; that we may be filled through all our being, the richest measure of Your divine presence, wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.
Now to You Who are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams—
To You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it)!
Blessings to you in 2021!