Most of us start the New Year with new resolutions, planning and projecting how the year would look like and declaring high hopes and expectations. I am sure this year is not an exception to such yearly niceties. Despite the gloomy picture painted on the global economic scene, the unpredictable repercussions of the Russian/Ukraine war, the volatility of the global energy crises, the obvious climatic changes impacting many nations, the migration in different parts of the world and the imminent national elections back home, there is still the need for hope and optimism in 2023.
No matter the unpredictability and changing scenes at the global level, God remains who he is; He does not change. He is our hope for a brighter future. The future is squarely in his hands. He says, “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed” (Mal.3.6 NLT).
God sits on top of the global scene. In the closing chapters of the book of Revelation, John saw the Lord seated on the throne authoritatively declaring, “…Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…” (Rev.21.5,6 NKJV). It is reassuring to observe in this text that Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” This means that he has the final say over all matters of life and death. No predictions of men concerning the future take him unawares.
Optimists think and see things differently. They see the positive side of things. They expect things to turn out well. They believe that God is in control of their lives and that with God on their side they can overcome circumstances and situations. A tough-minded optimist believes that God has endowed him with skills, talents and the ability to work and turn situations around. Jodi Picoult wrote, “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” An optimist does not take a no for an answer. He perseveres until situations are changed.
Since our God is alive, unchanging and dependable, we need to approach the new year with optimism, trusting in God’s ability to guide, protect and provide for us. The Psalmist says, “For this is God,Our God forever and ever;He will be our guide even to death” (Ps.48.14 NKJV).
We must be optimistic about the future because the saints of old did not see nor receive all they believed God for, yet they never failed to trust God. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
Jeremiah said, Lamentations 3:37-38, “Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” Nothing can happen without God’s permission. God controls the times and seasons of life. He controls the destiny of men as well as nations. We can be sure that whatever happens to us or around us will turn out for our good and for the glory of God.
Finally, be assured that God’s purpose for you in 2023 will ultimately triumph over Satan’s plans against you. Good will eventually triumph over evil. Light will outshine the darkness.