People are concerned about the state of our economy, the high cost of living, supply chain issues and affordability. They are worried about their health or the health of a loved one. There is a degree of uncertainty as the year 2022 moves toward its conclusion and we wait upon a New Year.
Global unrest only adds to this uncertainty. We can easily feel trapped by events and circumstances we cannot control. No wonder we find it hard to sleep at night, no wonder so many feel anxious, on edge. We may quietly wonder, what will tomorrow bring?
In these times, we need to focus on the promises God has given to us. Here are four such promises for us to reflect upon as we move through Christmas and look ahead to 2023.
First, the promise of God’s presence. In Exodus 33, God speaks to Moses, reassuring him: My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14) We need to hear God say to us, ‘I am with you’, ‘I’ve got this’. I don’t have to be anxious about tomorrow because God is already there, He is the One who holds all my tomorrows in His hands. Even when my mind races, I cannot run ahead of God’s mercy and grace.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
He has said, “I will never leave you nor will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) God understands the frailty of our humanity, He knows we will sometimes doubt His Word to us, so He gives this promise in a unique way, He wraps it in five negatives. It’s hard to capture this in our English translation but it means something like, ‘I will never, never, no, not ever, leave you or forsake you. Absolutely not!’
God also gives us the promise of His protection: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "he is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. (Psalm 91:1-2) He is the God who watches over us.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. Day or night, there is never a time when we are not under the protective care of our God.
Thirdly, we have the promise of God’s power: Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17) What are you facing that keeps you awake at night? The same God who set the sun and moon and stars in place, who holds back the waters from the land and whose power raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19), would say to you: I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything! (Jeremiah 32:27 – CEV)
Finally, we have the promise of God’s provision: Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus (Philippians 4:19 – The Voice). He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides (Genesis 22:14). As we walk in confident trust with our God, we can confess with the patriarch of old, God has been gracious to me and I have all I need (Genesis 33:11). Because the Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).
The hymnwriter reminds us: How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!