Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 28, 2009

Great Expectations

The year 2010 is just a few days away. What will the New Year hold? Only God knows. However, we can glean some insight from Moses about what to expect in 2010. Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Moses told the people that they should expect three things — the promise of blessings, the prospect of battles, and the possibility of bereavement. We can expect to face these same things as we leave this year behind and cross the threshold into the New Year.

The Promise of Blessings | Moses encouraged the children of Israel with these words: “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you shall eat food without scarcity, in which you shall not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you” (Deut. 8:7-10). We too can look forward to the promise of blessings in the New Year — those blessings that grow out of living in right relationship with God. Here are just some of the blessings we should expect.

• His peace when we are anxious and troubled.
• His love when we are hated and despised.
• His presence when we are alone and lonely.
• His hope when we feel the weight of despair.
• His strength when we are weak and vulnerable.
• His courage when we are immobilized by fear.
• His guidance when we are confused and frustrated.
• His provision when we are empty and in need.

The year ahead certainly holds the promise of blessings for those who follow God’s leadership and obey His Word.

The Prospect of Battles | Moses warned the Israelites to expect the prospect of battles in the Promised Land: “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in and dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven” (Deut. 9:1). The Israelites indeed fought many battles in the new land —military battles for territory and spiritual battles for the purity of their faith. God always gave His people specific instructions regarding how to fight their battles. They were victorious when they followed His strategy and defeated when they followed their own. God also provided His people with strength and stamina to fight their battles.

As we begin our journey into the New Year, we too, face the prospect of battles. Paul wrote about the nature of our battle in Ephesians 6:12 — “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are engaged in a spiritual battle with an adversary that prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Paul said that our flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh (Gal. 5:17). So, we can expect to fight battles against the world, the flesh, and the devil — battles that will have an impact upon our integrity, credibility, and our witness in this world.

The Possibility of Bereavement | The Promised Land also held the possibility of bereavement for the Israelites. Moses knew that they would encounter situations that would rob them of joy, peace, and progress. We too, face the possibility of bereavement during the New Year. There is a bereavement that is caused by disobedience to God’s Word. Disobedience to God’s Word will sooner or later result in a loss of joy and peace and lead to deep sorrow (read Ps. 32:3-5). There is also a bereavement caused by disappointment. When we or those whom we love choose our way over God’s, it will lead to problems. I counsel with many people every year who are bereaved because of sinful choices. Finally, there is a bereavement caused by death. Death is no respecter of persons and often comes unannounced. I have conducted many funerals over the years for people who did not expect to face the future with the absence of a loved one. We must be prepared for the bereavement that is caused by death. And, we must also be prepared to die should death come for us sometime this during the New Year.

It’s only natural for us to face new opportunities with great expectations. As you prepare for 2010, remember to walk with God, face life’s battles and difficulties in His strength, avoid the unnecessary sorrow caused by poor choices, and make certain that you are prepared to die should death call your name. I wish you the very best year you have ever experienced.


Responses

  1. Omar-

    Thanks for the post “Great Expectations”. Is it great things that having few insight. I would like to see that, many unknown people will know Him! Many unsaved people will be saved! Many false worshipers will worship true God, through the Lord Jesus Christ! And many others great things I would like to see. Also, I should be prepared bereavement, as you mentioned. If any things happen, I have to respond it. I could not flee from it a way! He knows all the best!

    Thanks once again-
    Mortuza
    Bangladesh

  2. Mortuza…

    William Carey, the 18th Century missionary to India, said that we should attempt great things for God and expect great things from God. I pray that you have a wonderful New Year filled with many open doors of opportunity for sharing and showing God’s love to the people of Bangladesh.

    Blessings,
    Omar~

  3. Omar,
    Great blog. Thanks for putting NCI on your blogroll. Keep up the great work! Glenn

  4. Glenn…

    Thanks for your encouragement, for your wise coaching and counsel, and for the far-reaching ministry of New Church Initiatives.

    Blessings,
    Omar~


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