The New Year: Looking to what?

The New Year is fast approaching. I’m keeping up with my tradition of deep cleaning our home. For many (very good) reasons, people seem glad to let go of 2020 and move forward.

As old gives way to new, we find ourselves looking forward, drawing hope from our expectation of the new.

One of the most important questions I find myself asking is this: what am I looking to for my hope?

I mean, I had to quarantine and I got a double waffle iron at the same time, so one of my resolutions is to loose about 20 pounds. I’m motivated thinking about being my old weight, but I can’t look to that.

I want to improve my piano playing. Maybe even learn a new instrument, but I can’t look to that for hope.

I can hope for COVID-19 and all its strains to go away or be tamed so that I can see family more and ministry can open back up in full. But I can’t look to that.

I can hope and pray for social peace and unity, but I can’t look to that for my hope.

Looking to something, means I have found an ideal bigger than myself. Looking to something means to hope, to prioritize this ideal, to derive power from this ideal. If I look to these hopes I mentioned, I can fail, be disappointed, doubt, or even despair.

So, what should I look to?

The better question is “Who should I look to?”

The answer: the One who is sovereign over nations, over sickness, over my life. In His power I can hope and pray and work toward goals. When things go awry or bad news comes (as will happen), I can keep on in hope instead of despair.

This morning, I was inspired and challenged by Psalm 34:4-5. I was inspired to keep my hope in God, looking to Him in radiant trust. And I was challenged to not just sweep 2020 into the trash bin. 2020 was full of fears and times of seeking the Lord and Him answering me. That is a blessing to look back on in thanksgiving. Recounting times of past fears and deliverance is precious fuel for hope for what lies ahead.

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