The world we live in is a place of constant change—and many of the changes we’ve experienced as of late have not been positive or meaningful. Knowing this, it’s understandable to feel apprehensive about the new year and all that it may hold—but the good news is this: We follow a God who is supernatural.
There is another kind of fear that grips people at the start of a new year. For some, it’s not the unknown that terrifies them; it’s the known. They know the culture will grow more hostile toward the Christian faith. They know that their faith in Jesus Christ may cost them in ways that only a few short years ago seemed impossible. God’s presence is there for these people too. As we walk through the year to come, knowing that serious challenges await us, Jesus stands with us. We can cling to Him in the midst of every storm.
David Livingstone, the famous missionary who brought the Gospel to unreached peoples in the jungles of Africa, knew all about known and unknown fears. He knew the very real dangers inherent in God’s calling on his life, and he also knew there was no way he could prepare for everything he would face.
Late in his life, Livingstone was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow. As he made his way to the podium, his tired, gaunt, and crippled appearance told a tremendous story about the life he had lived. One might think Livingstone would be done risking his life in such a dangerous place, but that’s not how David Livingstone viewed his calling. He told the crowd gathered there that day that he was actually preparing to return. He said,
But I return without misgivings and with great gladness. For would you like me to tell you what supported me through all those years of exile among people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude towards me was always uncertain and often hostile? It was this: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!” On those words I staked everything and they never failed me!
The promise of God’s presence gave Livingstone tremendous courage—and it can do so in yours, too. No matter what you may be dreading about the months and years ahead, know this: The infinite, almighty God goes with you. He loves you; you are not alone.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the confidence You bring with the presence of Your might and the assurance of Your love. Help me to have courage for whatever events You have ordained for my life so that I might do the good works You have planned in advance for me to do. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
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