• Chris Steele

Closure for 2020; Hope for 2021

Chris’ Corner — Sunday, December 27, 2020

As the first of the new year approaches, it brings pleasant thoughts. I spoke for the first time as preacher of the River Road congregation on the first Sunday in January many years ago. It did not enter my mind at that time, that I would still be working with you after all these years. I am confident this is more a testament of your love for me and my family, than it is of my abilities.

I am truly grateful for the encouragement, love, and support you have given me and my family these many years. My heart’s desire and prayer to God, is that I have been a blessing in your life as much as you have been in mine.

The first of any new year brings challenges for us as Christians. But with 2020 coming to a close, we certainly hope and pray next year brings us greater hope and joy than we have seen for the majority of this past one.

After being forced to distance ourselves from one another, we look forward to fellowship with our church family once again. We haven’t seen many of our brothers and sisters for nearly the entire year. It is our prayer to God, that He sees fit to eradicate this virus from the world, and with it, the fear and apprehension that has plagued so many.

The new year will give us opportunities to apply what we have learned from the misfortunes of this past year. With a deeper and stronger love for one another, we will no longer take our relationships for granted. How quickly our world was disrupted and thrown into a tailspin this year. May we vow to grab every chance we can to demonstrate our love and concern for those who are already in the body of Christ as well as the lost of this world. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

May this new year help us to find closure to the past. We’ve been through a rough season of time. It helps us to remember, no matter how rough things may become, God is in total control. He knows the plans He has made for us (Jeremiah 29:11). The future can only be brighter with God in charge. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). Jesus said, “...If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Trusting in the Lord will bring restful nights. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24). Then, what a blessing it is to wake up each morning with the attitude of Psalm 118:24. “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

May the new year give us a fresh new outlook and help us to leave the past where it belongs. We don’t forget. Memories can be a good thing. May we learn not to cheat our-selves or our loved ones, by not living in the present and looking forward to the future God has in store for us.

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