Sunday, December 30, 2012

Facing the future

  My Presence will go with you. – Exodus 33:14 (NIV)
I must have had my head in a groundhog hole, because I never heard the term “fiscal cliff” before the November election. Now I hear of it or read about it every day. It casts a pall over the New Year and fans fear of the future. I would be amiss to say I don’t feel at least a little anxiety about what 2013 holds.
While we haven’t plunged over the cliff yet, dreams of retirement are fading daily. We live on one income—my husband’s—and what little I make writing and editing. Dreams are always bigger than your pocketbook, but it’s sure nice to at least hope. The looming specter of the cliff is robbing me of hope.
But the problem is not the fiscal cliff—it’s my perspective. You see, I’m focusing on the wrong thing. When you stare long enough at the mountain, all you see is the mountain, not beyond it.
Rather than focus on the fear of the unknown, I need to focus on the known—what I’m sure of and trust to be true: God’s love, faithfulness and presence.
I think often of the Israelites—their journey into the wilderness to the Promised Land, their lack of faith in a God who loved them and had a magnificent plan for them. But they didn’t get it. They failed their Savior over and over. In unbelief, they refused to enter the Promised Land when they got there. The punishment for their disobedience was to wander in the wilderness until all of that rebellious generation died.
Yet God did not abandon them. He fed them with manna for 40 years until the time came to enter the Promised Land. Even their clothes didn’t wear out (Deuteronomy 8:4; 29:5). Yet when they settled in, they were unfaithful and worshiped false gods. After they were taken into exile as punishment, God still did not desert them. Through the prophets He reassured them over and over of His love—an everlasting, steadfast, unconditional love. I think of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—God did not abandon them in their land of exile. He prospered them.
Is the world today any different? Rebellion and disobedience abound, as was foretold (see 2 Timothy 3). But God has not changed. He cannot change (Malachi 3:6). “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). His love is still steadfast, unfailing, bigger and broader and greater than anything we can imagine. He will never fail us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Even though we may go into a financial exile, He will prosper His faithful ones in ways we cannot imagine now.
While the fiscal fears for the New Year may be well founded, so is my faith in God. He is and will always be “my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble. Therefore I will not fear” (Psalm 46:1,2). How about you?
As I enter the unknown of the New Year, Lord God, thank you for reminding me of Your abiding presence, abundant provision, awesome plan, and able protection. Throughout the coming year, open my eyes daily to Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Amen.

Special-Tea: Read Romans 8:28–39

NOTE: Using a Bible concordance, note Scriptures referring to God’s love, faithfulness, and presence. Then, throughout the year, read and meditate on them. I will be posting such Scriptures on my God, Me & a Cup of Tea blog:, so do come and visit frequently.

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