Les Clemens
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Considering the year we just had, it’s a bit of a challenge to look into the new year with
anything that does not include words like pandemic, quarantine and COVID! For some this is
cause for considerable anxiety since it appears that we may be going through more of the
same in 2021. For some this means wishful thinking, crossing ones fingers, wishing that the
days ahead will be better than what we’ve just been through. But for others, like me, it is an
occasion to praise God and seek him with more passion. It’s not that the past hasn’t been
difficult or that the challenges have somehow lessened - they haven’t. Rather it is a reminder
that God is truly sovereign and, as the hymn writer states, “What’ere my God ordains is right”.
Troubles? Yes. Worry? No way.
Let me speak to this by appealing to your mind as you trust in the Lord. Some basic questions
• Do you believe that God exists?
• Do you know him as your Lord and Saviour?
• Is he in control of all things?
• Will he work all things, including the troubling ones, for your good and his glory?
If you have answered yes to these questions then you need to think about what it means in
light of these present troubles. Here is where our theology is put to the test. If questions 3 and
4 are true then the way I need to approach the new year is with hope and joy because what is
taking place does not somehow fall outside the bounds of God’s sovereignty but is in fact a
very integral part of God’s purpose for you and me as believers. I do not say that it is easy or
pleasant but I do say it is good and necessary.1
Under this overarching theme of God’s sovereignty we thus look to how we should live
underneath his loving care. In simple terms I look to the days ahead with the hope that by
“speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him
who is the head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15). That is to say, everything we are facing is a means
used by the Holy Spirit to the end of growing spiritually, being sanctified and made made fit for
What these means in practical terms is simply pursuing a life that is honouring to God. It
involves the biblical and time-tested practices of prayer, scripture reading and fellowship with
God’s people. It encompasses a passionate heart for Christ and a desperate fight against sin. It
is in fact the Christian life, pure and simple.
Much work is yet to be done but perhaps we will look forward with hope and joy because the
Lord is doing in us what is most pleasing to him. May God richly bless our hearts in such a
manner as this. Let us be in prayer that the Lord will this year rent our spirits and fire us up in
order that in all things we will give him glory.
If you’d like to read more on this subject, I have a great little book for you to read.