HOPE for the New Year
Bold titles are song titles.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.”
“Roll, Roll, Billows Roll
Thank you, men, for that testimony of confidence that God is our refuge and strength; we don’t need to fear. And thank you for tuning in to this New Year’s edition of The Voice of Hope. I’m J. Mark Horst, your host, and I’m delighted to have you join me.
Well, here we are, just about ready to turn the calendar page to the year 2024. Looking around at the conditions in our world could lead us to have a fearful, pessimistic view of the future. There are numerous wars going on around the world and crime and violence are on the rise in our country. But let’s not forget – God is in control.
The Psalmist asked, “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”
“Thine is the Kingdom”
Isn’t it comforting to know that the Almighty, Sovereign God is in control of events in our world? It is to me. But do you know something? He’s in control of the events of your life, too! Now maybe you have no problem believing that God controls the events in your world, but you do have a problem believing that God controls the events of your life.
In fact, you may not want Him to have that control. Instead, you want to have control, you want to make those choices yourself! You’re afraid that if you let God choose for you, He’ll ask you do something or serve Him in some way that you don’t want to.
But listen to what God has to say in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. [That verse is familiar and is often quoted by itself. But listen to what follows]. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”If you trust God with the details of your life, if you seek Him with all your heart, then this will be your testimony.
“The Lord is My Strength and My Song”
Now, it’s true, trusting God with your life will not guarantee that things will always be easy or go the way you plan. But because God is the All-wise, All-knowing, loving Heavenly Father, He will not allow anything into your life that is not for your good and His glory. God doesn’t allow trouble and heartache just to make your life difficult. No, He always has a purpose He wants to accomplish. That purpose is to make you more like Jesus, and to demonstrate His power through you to those who are watching your life.
Are you willing to give God that kind of freedom in your life as we enter the New Year?
“Prince of Peace”
Just a few short days ago, we celebrated Christmas. As you recall, one of the primary messages of the angelic host was the peace that Christ came to bring. When you and I allow God to be in control of our lives then we receive His gift of peace. Colossians 3:14 and 15 tell us to “…put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
The peace of God is such a precious possession that once you have experienced it your soul will overflow with praise and thanks to God. And do you know something else? That peace will affect your relationships with other people. Yes, it will! And you will have sweet fellowship with God and with God’s children.
Ah yes, sweet fellowship. And you know friend, that sweet fellowship we can have with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ is only a foretaste of that fellowship we will have when at last we are in the presence of Jesus. It is a reality we can only remotely fathom here in this life. In First Corinthians 2:9 Paul wrote, “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared those who love him.” Yes, the past will seem like a distant dream when we are at home in
“Jerusalem the Golden”
As I think about that future home of the redeemed my greatest concern is for you. Do you have a place reserved there? As we face the beginning of a new year it is very possible that Jesus could return during these next weeks and months. Are you ready?
“The Lord is Coming”
I hope this program has encouraged you as you contemplate the New Year. If so, we’d love to hear from you. The easiest way to connect with us is by using our e-mail address, [email protected], or call us toll free at 866-960-0292. Or by mail, The Voice of Hope, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533.
If you’d like to help support this ministry financially, you can include a gift with your letter, or donate securely online. Truly, it is God’s grace, accompanied by your fervent prayers and your generous financial support that will enable THE VOICE OF HOPE to be on the air until Jesus comes in the air.
I hope you’ll join me next week for The Voice of Hope. Lord willing, we’ll turn once again to our study in the Gospel of Mark. I hope you can tune in for that teaching, “The Ministry of the Servant.” So, we’ll look forward to being with you next time, and until we meet again, reflect on the power of this name.