If you’re at all like me, you’ve been anxious for 2020 to be in the rear view mirror. It’s been a far more difficult year circumstantially than we’re used to. My heart has groaned in mourning and pushed back against restrictions. I’ve been quick to judge others and quickly frustrated. So I’ve been looking forward to 2021… a lot.
I fear I may have loaded 2021 with unrealistic expectations. In fact, I wonder if I haven’t overlooked a few key truths in 2020 that my heart needs every day. I confess I’ve been looking forward to 2021 as if God weren’t sovereign over 2020. But he was. I’ve been corrected in my heart by Romans 8:28,
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
We can confidently substitute 2020 for “all things” in that verse. God uses all circumstances, including hard ones, for our good and his glory. He is still sovereign.
My friend John Calvin notes that in light of God being the creator and sovereign of the universe,
We are therefore to await the fullness of all good things from him alone and to trust completely that he will never leave us destitute of what we need for salvation, and to hang our hopes on none but him.
Calvin’s pastoral thrust is right on here. As we look to 2021 perhaps we need to look less to a blank calendar and more to God. Consider a few key takeaways as we start a new year:
- God is sovereign, therefore we wait for all good things from him. Waiting wasn’t my strong suit in 2020. But waiting recognizes that God gives us what we need when we need it.
- God is sovereign, therefore we trust completely that he will not leave us hanging. This means tempering complaint and criticism with faith and confidence in him.
- God is sovereign, therefore we hope in “none but him.” It’s that last part that’s hard. It’s not God and the vaccine, or God and the government, or God and my diet… it’s just God.
- God is sovereign, therefore the mission hasn’t changed. In our rush to shuffle 2020 into the back of our minds and hearts, let’s be careful not to forget that the most important things in life haven’t changed with the date. God’s glory is still the primary goal of all of the universe. We are still called to repent of our sin and turn to Christ in faith. He is still glorified by the making and maturing of disciples of Jesus.
What we need most in this new year are the oldest truths in the universe, and we have them. Happy New Year!
P.S. If you’re looking for a Bible reading plan for 2021 I recommend Five Day Bible Reading. Check it out here.