Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) 

I am grateful to live in the Midwest. I can enjoy all four seasons of the year: fall, winter, spring, and summer. My favorite time is summer because I get to take my family to the park, play ultimate frisbee, and ride my bike with the pastors at our church. Because this season is so enjoyable, it helps me bear through the winter months, my least favorite season.

I felt like 2015 was a winter season for most of the world. January started with a series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria. Boko Haram murdered more than 2,000 people. In April, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, causing 8,857 deaths. On November 13, multiple attacks by the Islamic extremists ISIS murdered 130 innocent civilians.

These atrocities bring fear and doubt to our minds. Some of us might be asking ourselves: “Is God really in control of this world?” And the answer is an unequivocal “Yes!” The Lord has promised that He will  never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6). The Bible calls Yahweh the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). If we call on Jesus, he will give us the peace which surpasses all comprehension (Phil. 4:6-7). No matter what hardships we are faced with, we can ask for a peace that comes from the powerful love of God.

It is my prayer that 2016 is more peaceful than last year. I pray God will do a new thing this year (Isa.43:19); that God will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. I pray for world leaders to make wise decisions on how to combat terrorism. I pray for our country, the United States, to be more united, not divisive, during the Presidential election of 2016.

I pray for our churches to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the saving message which stands against racism and xenophobia. And lastly, I pray for Christ’s love to compel us to do good works so that His name will be glorified by every tribe, tongue, and nation. And never forget, summer will arrive someday. Amen.   

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