Hope for the New Year and Every Year to Come

I spent a good part of my quiet times during the year 2020 studying prophecy and heaven. That, coupled with suddenly being thrown into a world pandemic, has taught me a couple of things: #1) I have learned that no enemy, whether it is as microscopic as a virus or as cataclysmic as the threat of nuclear war, has any greater power than my Sovereign LORD, and, #2) I have seen for myself that every sin lives in every man and woman.

Now on the surface that second statement seems like the only one to fit with the title of this article…but, stay with me.

Every jurisdiction in every nation of the world has had different strategies for managing the pandemic. Last fall, per order of the jurisdiction in which I live, I was required to self-isolate in my own home due to the fact that I had ended up in close contact with an individual who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. I was told to wear a mask when I was close to my family members, to distance at all other times, and to live in another room in my house for two weeks without going outside my home.

The range of emotions I experienced and how they all played out is a story for another time, but suffice it to say that this experience taught me in living colour that I am a weak, frail, needy woman in whom lives fear, rebellion, desire, selfishness, and weakness of many kinds.

God had to call me out of myself repeatedly to remind me that no matter what or who my enemy is—seen or unseen, human or devil, living or dying, He rules all.

I could not let the world or fear rule me or I was bowing down before the subtle but oh-so-real idol of control. Where did it leave me? Anxious, fearful, tense, and certainly not filled with the joy and peace that is my inheritance as a follower of Christ.

That was when I had to return to all those things I had been studying.

I remembered how God revealed to Daniel hidden and mysterious things but also very specific details of future kings, kingdoms, and events hundreds of years before they happened which were fulfilled down to the minutiae.

I remembered how Daniel remained faithful to the Sovereign Ruler of All while living as a foreigner in a culture not his own, where he also gained respect due to his faithful worship of this Lord.

I remembered how in the Revelation given to John he saw vision after vision of the One seated High above all. This One orchestrates the final events set out for this world with the culminating vision of a restored and redeemed Earth full of His worshippers from every tribe, language, people and nation.

I remembered that in my reading by other authors about heaven and the New Earth how the best is yet to come, that our suffering is not in vain, that everything that happens on this cursed earth God is going to bring about for good.

The Story of Redemption will carry through into eternity, written in the scars on the hands of the Saviour who also bears the remembrance of what has passed and what beauty He has made out of the brokenness.

So…yes; learning yet again in my challenging circumstances the Sovereign rule of my God and the sovereign grace He has bestowed on this vile sinner was all for my good and His glory.

Even when I lost sight of hope, He hadn’t lost sight of me or this world for which He died. I have a living hope anchored in the One Who has risen from the dead (see I Peter 1:3).

When I remember that hope, I do not have to fear but I can worship in faith. And even when I do falter and fear I hold onto the hope that the One who called me will keep me to the end.

I will behold His glory.

Bring on the new year!

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About Wendy McCready

Wendy lives in Alma, Ontario, Canada with her husband Mark and two daughters where Mark has been the senior pastor of Alma Bible Church since the summer of 2010. Together they have served for over 15 years in rural and small-town ministry. Their previous small-town pastoral work included a church in the mountains of Colorado while Mark was in seminary, and then in northern Ontario “cottage” country upon graduation. Wendy works as an Educational Assistant in the local schools where she enjoys making community connections in order to share Christ and helping children with special challenges learn new things. She also enjoys participating in music ministry in their church and hosting people in their home.