At this time last year, do you remember any of your thoughts about the New Year? What were you expecting? What did you think 2020 would hold? Were you anywhere close to what actually did unfold this past year? There were many unforeseen twists and turns over this past year but it is good for us to remember that each day was providentially provided by the Lord’s hand. He was never surprised nor was He out of control. As the Psalmist proclaimed, all of our time (even 2020) is in (and from) His hands (Ps. 31:15). As we close out this Christmas season and embark on a New Year there’s an important example I believe we should take with us to provide encouragement for us to follow the Lord in whatever He has for us in the days ahead.
In Luke 1, after the Angel gave Mary the news of what God had for her, she responded in vs. 38, “Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.” Mary responded with humility, willingness, and obedience. She didn’t fight God’s will. She didn’t ask for time to think it over. She didn’t complain or cry for something else. She willingly received what the Lord had in store and followed where He led. There are times at Church that we sing the words, “Tis’ so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His Word.” This is what Mary did. She responded with, “If this is God’s will, then this is what I will do. If this is what God has for me, then I am willing to trust and obey Him in it.” How was she able to respond in this way? Why was there such willingness within her? It’s because of what she considered herself to be. She said, “Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant…”. She knew she was God’s servant. She knew that the Lord was the One over her. She was created not for herself or to live out her own interests but she was made by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16). She didn’t demand her way because she believed that the way of her Master was infinitely better and infinitely more than what she could imagine for herself (Rom. 8:28; Eph. 3:20).
So, this New Year let’s seek to spend less time trying to return what God puts in our path and more time receiving what He has for us. Christ died that we would no longer live for ourselves but for Him as His servants (2 Cor. 5:15). Rather than fight His will or complain about our times, let’s trust what is in and from His hand. Afterall, He knows what is best and has our best in His plan. This is all reason to look to respond in the next 365 days with humility, willingness, and obedience just like Mary did. Also, remember the truth of another hymn, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” Our happiness and peace this year depends on it!
Trusting To See God’s Grace And Goodness In Another Year, Pastor Rudy