by: Timothy Vazquez
Colossians 1:27 (NIV) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
As we reach the end of yet another year, it is time to reflect on all the days that led up to the soon coming New Year. In a number of hours, 2020 will be history and 2021 will be before us. When we started our 2020 journey, we had high hopes and dreams for a good year. As it turned out, it was a very difficult year in a lot of ways. It was one of those years that is going to be hard to forget for all the wrong reasons. With the pandemic, the racial strife and the great divide in this country, things don't look promising at all. It feels like 2021 will pick up where 2020 left off. Of course, we pray that this won't be so.
But I want us to have a different perspective, because as followers of Christ, we are supposed to be looking at everything through different lenses than everyone else. I have to admit that it was difficult to see many people that I love getting the virus, but it was also very awe-inspiring to see the Lord be faithful and lift everyone up, soaring high above doom and gloom and into the marvelous atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving. The people of God had an opportunity to praise their Lord and Savior Jesus through the storm and they took advantage of it. There is no purer or higher praise and thanksgiving that can be offered to the Lord than the kind that comes directly from the heart in times of great trials and testing. It is then that you know deep in your heart that you really do love Jesus, no matter what you are going through or who may turn against you. You get to live what you usually tell others about and experience Jesus being that "friend that sticks close than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
When all else has failed and when even your health fails, Jesus still remains and His love for you carries you through every dark valley. We just have to remember to keep our eyes so fixed on Him that the tempest that is roiling around us seems fuzzy in comparison to the laser-focus that we have on Jesus. That is what gets us through. It is when you have no strength left that you experience Him being the strength of your life. It is when your expectations in people and things are dashed that you realize that Jesus is your true hope. It is when everything seems to fall away and you are left with nothing that you realize that you possess everything when you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Let's get ready to bring in the New Year without fear of what may be, but instead with the confidence that we must have as followers of the One who won the victory for us and who has given us everything that we need for our journey here on earth until we go to Him or He comes back for us. Let 2021 come. We are ready because Jesus is ready and He lives in us!
Pastor Joey Vazquez