We made it; 2022 is here. Did it not seem like 2020 and 2021 were the same year? The extended time of waiting and instability of virtually everything from health concerns to shortages to economic challenges have weighed on everyone. And these matters have not left us as we arrive in a new year. If we are not careful, we could find ourselves starting off this new year with more doubt than hopeful expectation.
Let me encourage you as you start this new year. Whatever happened in the past year, God has granted you a new year. One of the things you might want to do at the start of this year is to reflect on what God has done in the previous year. Take out your calendar of 2021 and walk back through it. Mark the high points, ignore the low points. What prayers were clearly answered this past year? What fears never materialized? How did God uniquely provide for you and your church? Write these things down. Reflect on them. Share them with others. Give God the glory due His name.
Even in the worst of times, we can find God at work around us, in us and through us. We often do not see what God is doing from the clouds of a past failure or the overly critical voices of a few around us. You will do yourself a huge favor, if you will tune out those voices and listen to the voice of God through His Word.
God is about doing new things. The prophets pointed to work God was about to do in the future. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, Isaiah 43:19. The same God who made that promise is making a way in your wilderness in 2022.
As you begin this new year, ask the Lord to give you a new heart and a new spirit. He has already promised this: I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you, Ezekiel 36:26. You will be amazed at what a renewed perspective and God’s Spirit working in you can do. The Word of God and the Spirit of God working in us produces the Power of God. We are utterly hopeless without it. We will struggle in our devices until we fall completely on Him.
We are a part of something far greater than us. God’s Kingdom will prevail. God is building towards the ultimate culmination in Revelation 21:5, Behold, I am making all things new. I am grateful that Arkansas Baptists are part of this work God is doing in the world. Let us encourage one another and pray for His will to be done throughout our state.