Another new year has begun, and if I am really honest, I feel apprehensive about 2020. When I look at the world around us, I see a lot of darkness. People are angry and hurting. Many of our children are suffering due to traumatic experiences. Hope is in short supply. And then, to top it all off, 2020 is an election year, and it is looking like another brutal election due to the deep divisions in our country.
I need to be reminded that as a believer, this world is not my home. I am made for something different, which is why I am not satisfied with what I see around me. Despair and apprehension surface when I focus on the world around me. But, if I turn my eyes upward and get my focus on God and His plans and purposes, I realize that there is hope.
A verse that has recently stuck with me is Romans 2:4 which states, “Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” This connects to 2 Peter 3:9 which says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” When I look at the world around me, I can often become so discouraged that my only thought is, “Come, Lord Jesus. Do away with all of the evil.” Like the disciples James and John in Luke 9 who were ready to call down fire on the Samaritan village that did not welcome Jesus, I can get so discouraged that I just want Jesus to return and destroy all that comes against Him. These are the times when I know that I need to refocus and return to an eternal perspective.
The world is not what it should be. This new year will include hardships just like the years before. But God is full of grace and mercy. He is patient and is willing to allow evil to continue because there is hope that more will be saved and spend eternity with Him. I do not have to be apprehensive about 2020. Instead, I can be thankful for more opportunities to participate in the work God is doing in this very broken world, and I can be thankful that this world is temporary and that I will spend eternity in a place where evil will no longer exist and there will never again be reasons for apprehension.