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“If I take the wings of the morning…even there.”

Happy New Year! May the coming year see our church grow even deeper in faith, love and service. May our church also be flooded with joy.

I wanted to send a few passages that will inspire us to trust God. One is from beloved Psalm 139. These words:
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
Fly to heaven – God is there. Swim down to the deepest abyss of the sea, God is there!

When God’s people were heading for the Promised Land, Moses told the people Joshua would take his place. They were afraid. How could they go on without Moses? What would become of them? Moses said, The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”(Deut. 31:8 NIV)

Finally, Jesus was addressing his rag-tag little batch of followers. Knowing how unsure and frightened they could and would be he said to them, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”(Luke 12:32).

I offer you these beautiful scriptures on the first day of a new year. I hope and pray they will give you strength and help you towards a more powerful faith and trust.

We need fear nothing because God in Christ is with us always.

I will end with some words from the president of Hope College writing for a time like no other with challenges that are unique. These certainly are challenging and difficult times, and as of this writing they seem likely to continue. Yes we are a people of hope. And our hope comes from the source of hope: God himself. The world places its hope in circumstances things like personal health, family, wealth and success. But life is full of hardship, and what is hardship but a stripping of those things? The one thing that is sure and solid is God’s hope. And with this guiding us, we can look to the future with confidence. – Matthew Scogin, “News from Hope College,” vol. 31, no. 3

Count on this – the New Year will be in the Lord’s hands and we ask him to help us to let nothing our hope and confidence shake, we who are more than conquerors through him who loves us.

Please pray with me. Lord we ask for a good year ahead, one of healing and goodness. When the sun comes out and all is well, help us not to forget that upon you we rely. When the winds kick up and sky darkens, help us to sail on unafraid because Jesus is at the helm, piloting us. And help us to be the source of strength to someone who feels cast about and helpless. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.