Hello dear friends,
Grace & peace to you all in the name of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I hope that you all had a lovely time last night celebrating and welcoming in the New Year.
97 years ago, on New Year’s Eve 1916, a chaplain spoke to a gathering of British Commonwealth soldiers in Cairo, Egypt. Standing before men whose lives had been turned upside down by World War 1, Oswald Chambers talked to them about yesterday and tomorrow, and Oswald said this:
“At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present. . . . Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the irreparable past in His hands, and step out into the irresistible future with Him” (My Utmost For His Highest).
To continually remember that we are in His hands is perhaps the real challenge that is ahead of each of us. It was only 3 months after France and Great Britain declared war on Germany 74 years ago on Christmas Day 1939, King George VI broadcast an address to the nation. By this time, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland had already fallen to the overwhelming power of the Nazis.
Rallying people amid the gathering darkness, the king concluded his speech with these very words:
“A new year is at hand. We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall all be. If it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted. In the meantime I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I would like to say to you:
I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”
Then the king said, “May the Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.”
It would be another six years of war before peace was finally restored. As George VI told his people, none of us know what the New Year will bring. If it safety, healing, prosperity, wholeness and joy, we will praise and thank the Lord. But if it brings continued struggles, we will remain undaunted, not because we are strong or have it in our power to remain faithful, but because our God is strong and more than able to keep us in His peace. God promised Israel, “The Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12). We too can take comfort in knowing that our God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
As we begin 2013, we can place ourselves, and all our yesterdays and tomorrows safely in His care, into the hand of God.
Perhaps we can share a prayer together:
Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much indeed and I thank you for this New Year that you have made. Please help me to take hold of your hand today, staying close to you every day in the coming year. No matter what happens, may the peace you promise come to characterize my life in a way that will bring you glory, and may I use every opportunity that I can to proclaim the Gospel. I say this prayer in your name, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!
I wish you all a very happy and blessed New Year!!!
Keep on keeping on…
Founding Director & Evangelist