“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling not because of our works but because of his own purpose before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
(2 Tim. 1:8-12 ESV)
As we look out upon a fresh New Year, it is just that—a blank slate ready to be filled in. We all have hopes and dreams, aspirations and goals, but none of us know what this year really holds for any of us. We tend to mark years as good or bad by what comes through the course of a year, such as new births in a family, or a promotion at work, or some unexpected significant hardship that had to be faced whether we wanted to or not.
As I thought about this article, and what encouraging thoughts I could plant in your minds, I was reminded of a favorite hymn of mine based at least in part on this passage, and particularly the latter part of the last verse of it, “for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
“I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known, nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own. I know not how this saving faith to me He did impart, nor how believing in His Word wrought peace within my heart. I know not how the Spirit moves convincing men of sin, revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in Him. I know not when My Lord may come, at night or noon-day fair, nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him, or meet Him in the air. But I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”
While in the chorus, Major Daniel Whittle takes a direct quote from the KJV of that passage, we find in the verses the message of the gospel that gives us hope despite knowing how unworthy we are. It is that chorus that we can find peace with the unknown of another year. Perhaps the past year wasn’t so great; perhaps there are parts of it that we would like to forget. Maybe for you, it was a great year, and something to look back at with great fondness. Whatever is the case for you, in this next year, we can still trust that “He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that Day.”
He’s good for it. He knows what is coming, and how He will use it for His glory and our good. I hope you’ll be looking to see His hand guiding your days, helping you up when you stumble, carrying you when you’re too tired to go on alone, and celebrating the growth and progress right along with you. I pray for a blessed New Year for you all.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen