Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making a New Start!

I love New Year! It's a great opportunity every year to draw a line under all that is past and start again. For me, 2013 has been a very difficult year marked by pain, the loss of dear friends, disappointment in others, family sadness at watching our only grandchild struggle her way through the challenging early months of her life, and the uphill task of trying to walk the journey of faith in a hostile culture. Yet, New Year brings with it a burst of hope, optimism and cheer that heartens me greatly and causes me to thank God that he is the God who describes himself with the words 'behold I am making all things new!'.

Far more significant than the date on the calendar, though, is the assurance within that God is still in charge - not man, not the doctors, nor the politicians and thankfully not me! He has not vacated the throne of the universe as so many want us to believe, but instead is working out his sovereign purposes for his glory and our eternal good. Romans 8:28 is still in my bible - "and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (ESV)

During the Christmas period I have been encouraged by the writing of Ian Coffey whom I look forward to welcoming to Guernsey and to Eldad Church in January.  In his book Shock and Awe (BRF, Abingdon, 2009) he quotes a prayer for today: "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose years never fail and whose mercies are new each returning day: let the radiance of your Spirit renew our lives, warming our hearts and giving light to our minds: that we may pass the coming year in joyful obedience and firm faith; through him who is the beginning and the end, your Son Christ our Lord. Amen"