CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
January 2, 2022
2021 Year in Review
I Peter 5:6-7
We are not going to look at any specific things that happened this past year. What I will ask you to consider is your own personal thoughts on the year that has just ended. We can all acknowledge that January 1 is not really any different than December 31st. As many of us view birthdays now, it is easy to say it is just another day on the calendar. We can easily say the same thing about December 31, 2021, as opposed to January 1, 2022. What makes the 1st any more magical than December 31? That being said, there is something symbolic about beginning with a new calendar that has everything blank on it. Many of you may mark your calendars with appointments or important events as the year goes on and here we are again with a clean slate waiting for us to begin filling in the blanks.
Each year has things happen that are different from the year before. Things we did not see coming happen out of nowhere. Then other things happen that we knew were headed our way but surprised us with how they worked out. This past year saw many affected by the fact loved ones passed away and went to be with the Lord. For some it was not a total surprise, for others it was something no one saw coming. Health concerns stayed front and center for most everyone for a variety of reasons. Many have had a financially challenging year, yet for others there have been difficulties because of relationship problems. As is always the case, we have learned to adapt to what has come our way. For some that has been easier to do than for others.
As we saw in our scripture from 1 Peter, God is there for us in every one of life’s situations. A similar message is stated in Psalms 55:22 where God reminds us to “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall.” What incredible promises our God makes to his people. We, of course, lean on these scriptures most often when life becomes difficult when unexpected and unwelcome things happen to us and our loved ones. We can easily handle those events that are happy and joyous. It is the other things that causes us to at times wonder why. In spite of everything, we have the assurance God is there in the middle of both the ups and downs of life.
As I have shared a number of possible ways, this year of 2021 may have affected you. What do you think? Have you taken a little time yet to reflect on the year we have just said goodbye to? What about 2022? Have you already looked ahead to what it may bring to you, your family, and others you care about? I hope and pray most everyone can think back on 2021 with some fond memories. Even for those of us who may have had really tough times, I pray the Lord has shown you how he was there in the middle of it all. How God was cheering you and maybe your loved ones on, providing you with the strength and courage to keep moving forward. For those who can see special blessing that came your way, I hope you recognized the fact the Lord was there enjoying every minute right along side of you as well.
What the verses we have looked at today remind us of is God cares for each and every one of us. We are not guaranteed that there will not be some tough times. What we are promised is that God will see us through every situation we face in life. What a comfort to know that we have a Savior that experiences many of the things we each face in life. The joy of friends and family and the special blessings that come our way as well as the disappointment, pain and sorrow this life brings at times.
As we begin our journey with a New Year, may we allow the Holy Spirit room in our lives to help us grow in our faith and trust in our Lord and Savior. There will be challenges this new year that many of us will experience we have no idea about right now. I pray there will also be victories that lie ahead for us as well. One thing you can be sure of is our God will be there no matter what, as we are reminded in Psalms 55:22 where it says “God will never let the righteous fall.” So let us all say with confidence, “2022, bring it on! My God is ready for everything and he is on my side.”