It is easy to rant.
It is easy to complain.
It is a lamentable thing that we, humankind in general, default to complaining. Sure, there are optimists out there, but they tend to mocked nowadays (or complained about as being “just too perky”.)
Normally, as we look forward to a new year every January, we do so with hope and optimism. We set goals and make resolutions, fully expecting we will achieve them or keep them. We enter into a new year with a positive attitude that the year ahead will be better than the one behind. I am not sure you have noticed, but this New Year has been a mixed bag. For every neighbor celebrating that 2020 is behind us, I have heard a television commentator or government prognosticator giving a dire warning that 2021 is going to be a lot worse. Who do we listen to?
One major complaint it is easy to voice is that in this age of subjective truths, we do not know who to listen to or trust. Do we listen to the optimistic neighbor down the street who leaves his Christmas lights up year-round or the journalist on the screen whose paycheck is tied to ratings which are often driven by sensationalized journalism? There seem to be a cacophony of voices out there all clamoring to be the one that people listen to. It is hard to know who to trust.
At times like these, I like to go to the Psalms. I invite you this January to spend some time with Psalm 31; it is full of hope and helps keep us oriented to placing our faith and trust in God above. Parts of it are written like a conversation between a believer and God and it is easy to make the words our own. And the key line? Verse 6 says “I hate those who embrace what is completely worthless. I myself trust the Lord.” (CEB)
Friends, what are you embracing? Are you clinging to sketchy human promises or the trustworthy words of God found in the Holy Scriptures? Are you embracing despair or the hope found in trusting an omnipotent, loving God? Tune in this January as we explore the scriptures together with a focus on hearing and responding to God’s voice.
Emmanuel, God is with us! Spring is coming,