There’s good news in the news. Forbes predicts that the economy will be better in 2017 than it was in 2016. Fortune tells us that artificial intelligence will power medical research, driverless cars, and our daily interaction with technology. And Dallas Cowboys fans take note: Troy Aikman predicts that our team will play in the Super Bowl next February.
I could go on. But as Janet Denison notes in her latest blog, predictions aren’t promises. The best way to face the future is to depend not on what might happen but on what will. So here’s a promise for the new year: God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
However, if you’re like me, you’re wondering in the silence of your heart: Why would the King of the universe care about me? He knows my sins and failures better than anyone else does. Why would he love me so?
Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch statesman and theologian, noted that God loves us because he made us. That’s a familiar thought, of course, but consider how Kuyper explains it: “There is subtle charm about the thing that we have made, and this is by no means always because of its intrinsic value, but rather because we have made it ourselves.”
Kuyper illustrates by describing a writer who values his article over others published in the same periodical, a florist who values the bouquet gathered from her garden over those available in the store, and a mother who revels in her child in a way no one else can. This is how our Father feels about every one of us.
Is this how you feel about yourself? Do you seek God’s best for your life, or are you settling for what our culture offers?
Kuyper notes: “In public life, every reflection of heaven is extinguished. . . . the dominant note is that heaven reaches no further than the stars, that death ends all, and that life without God thrives as well, if not better, than life in the fear of the Lord.”
To illustrate his point, consider how Carrie Fisher and George Michael are being remembered. Fisher called herself an “enthusiastic agnostic.” Michael had no Christian commitment that I can discover. In “Praying for Time,” he sings, “god’s stopped keeping score / I guess somewhere along the way / He must have let us all out to play / Turned his back and all god’s children / Crept out the back door.”
Their personal lives were deeply troubled, yet they are being eulogized as models in our culture. And I’ve seen no remembrance in the media that commented on their souls. My point is not to criticize Carrie Fisher or George Michael—it is to show how typical their stories are in our society.
If you want God’s best in the coming year, you’ll have to seek it from God.
If you want God’s best in the coming year, you’ll have to seek it from God. You’ll need to ask him to be the Lord of your life and king of your day. If you do, you’ll discover that the “power that is at work within us” will in fact do “far more abundantly than all we ask or think.”
That’s not a prediction but a promise. The next step is yours.