We stand on the cusp of a brand new year and in 2022, like all new years, there is a great deal of uncertainty about what it will bring.
Will the pandemic become endemic? Will the inflation rate decline? Will the housing bubble pop? Will racism continue to foment in our culture? Will cultural divisiveness give way to greater cooperation?
The reality is—no one knows with accuracy what 2022 will hold.
There is a verse in I Chronicles that has recently captured my attention.
Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong. Have strength of heart, and do it. Do not be afraid or troubled, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not stop helping you. He will not leave you until all the work of the house of the Lord is finished.1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT
David is giving a charge to his son Solomon who will, in the near future, succeed his father as the King of Israel. I believe that there are 4 principles from this verse that we can apply as we enter 2022…
When the pandemic began in 2020, we weren’t sure if it would be a sprint or a marathon. Twenty-one months into the pandemic, I would like to suggest that it has turned into an Ironman competition! The prophet Nehemiah said, “The Joy of the Lord is our strength,” and in Philippians 4:13: Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Being strong isn’t about us pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit in our inner being.
In the same way that an athlete strengthens themself by training, so we strengthen our spirit by reading the scriptures and spending time in the presence of the Lord.
As we enter into 2022, I want to encourage you to take some time every day to “strengthen yourself in the Lord.”
Do not be afraid!
In 1989, a new brand of clothing appeared called “No Fear.” This line of clothing featured all sorts of slogans inspired by their love of extreme sports.
It has been said that the most often repeated command in scriptures is “fear not” or “don’t be afraid” or some variation of this command. I am not sure if it is the most repeated command, but it is found over 100 times in the King James Version of the Bible.
In 2021 with the Covid-19 pandemic raging, surveys indicated people’s top two fears were a loved one dying, or a loved one becoming seriously ill. Other things that people are fearful of include violence, terrorism, racism, being alone, civil unrest, and not having enough money for retirement.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
Perfect love is God’s love—and God loves us unconditionally—it drives out fear!
As we enter 2022, we need to remember that we have a good good Father who loves us unconditionally, and in the security of His love, we have nothing to fear.
The Lord is with you!
During the Christmas season, we are often reminded that one of the titles of Jesus is Emmanuel – God with us! He isn’t just Emmanuel at Christmas time—He is with us every moment of the year.
The reason that we can be strong is because He is with us. The reason that we can live without fear is because He is with us.
In Psalm 16:11 the psalmist says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
The presence of the Lord brings joy, meaning, and anticipation to our lives!
As we enter 2022, it is with the joy and the confidence that comes from knowing He is with you.
He will enable you to complete the task!
David reminded Solomon that he had a task to complete—the building of the Temple. It was a place for the habitation of God. Peter reminds us that we “are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.”
Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples. If we make disciples, Jesus will take those “living stones” and place them in His spiritual temple that He is building.
As we enter 2022, we have a task to complete, and that task is to make disciples. But we don’t do it on our own—he has promised to empower us by His Spirit in the task.
In spite of the uncertainty that a new year brings, we can be strong and we can live without fear—because the Lord is with us, and He has promised to enable and empower us in the task of making disciples!