The God of the Coming Year


“…yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

Yesterday I saw someone post on Twitter something to the effect of –

“I cannot wait for 2014! It’s going to be a great year!”

My first thought was, depends on what you mean by ‘great’ really.

2013 was a rough year for us. There has been a lot of loss and regret. My father died back in April, we were financially wrecked by car repairs, and health issues abounded. And to be honest, I expected the year to open new opportunities for a job for which I am better suited. It never happened. We wanted the year to be different than it was and that seemed possible because we have had years in which we could look back and say it was great. But this was not one of those years.

Maybe your 2014 will be a great year and all your dreams or at least some of them will be realized.

But it is possible the coming year will not be a good one for you.

It is possible you will experience severe emotional and lasting pain because of a tremendous loss. It is possible physical pain will be a large part of your year to come. It is possible you will sin in ways that you never thought possible. And relationships will break like the crisp scorched grass in the heat of August. It is possible you will lose your job and financial ruin will rise like a specter in the dark of every night. It is possible death will visit your door or the home of a loved one.

You may wonder at the species of fish whose belly you inhabit. You may find yourself in sackcloth and ashes guessing the rating of the storm that has taken so much from you.

And Osteen’s books be damned, you may have the worst year of days you have ever seen.

And yet Christ will still be faithful. He will still hold though your grip loosens on him. He will not abandon his people. He will not forsake you. The good news of the King who has conquered our greatest foe is still true in the ruins of this life. His love will still be greater than all our imaginings. He will still reign. The promises of our Sovereign God will remain unspoiled in the heat of our longest days. And even when our palette cannot detect the goodness of our Lord, his mercy will not be moved.

Christ will not cease to be faithful.

9 thoughts on “The God of the Coming Year

  1. Becky December 30, 2013 / 4:06 pm

    Matt, your words always touch me. Thank you! Truly.

  2. Seneca Griggs December 31, 2013 / 4:54 pm

    A great post. May 2014 be a little less painful then 2013 Matt.

  3. Ken January 1, 2014 / 7:51 am

    After being given your book on the mundane and God, I found this post. I look forward to walking this year with you and your thoughts. Agree, 2013 wasn’t that great for us either. He remains faithful, however.

  4. lane January 1, 2014 / 8:10 am

    Always good thoughts, Matt. I’ve had a similar feeling. But the other side of the coin is hope. Hope that this year will be one where God returns the ‘years the locust have stolen’. That’s the tension isn’t it? That we know God is with us in the bad times while being faithful in hoping for his victory in our lives.

  5. Adam Tisdale January 2, 2014 / 1:50 pm

    Nailed it! Yep, 2013 was awful. And I am tempted to idolize the new year, but what a great reminder that it is far better to look to Christ. Whatever shall come to pass.

  6. Pam Burns January 3, 2014 / 10:57 am

    Words of wisdom and encouragement, Matt!

  7. AJ January 3, 2014 / 12:49 pm

    Thanks. I got divorced in 2013, and these words are encouraging. God is faithful.

  8. graceandtruth51 December 30, 2017 / 3:46 am

    This came up on my Facebook memories from 2013, and I have just re-read it. 2017 has been a very hard year. My strong, active husband had a stroke and it has turned our lives upside down. He can no longer play guitar (a worship leader), he cannot drive…so many losses in his independence. Yet, we are thankful for what we do have, So we have walked through the loss, the grief, the fears, but Jesus has walked with us. I have people say, “Just keep holding on to the Lord,” The reality is, HE holds on to us, and HE is faithful! We know we are safe in Him. Blessed be His name, forever.
    Thank you, Matt for your beautiful and encouraging writing. You never cease to come alongside us and point us to Jesus.

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