In some ways, many of us could not wait to put 2020 behind us. It was a terrible year for many families and businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic. In another sense, though, it feels like there is still some unfinished business with 2020 that prevents us from fully embracing the plan God is setting before us for 2021.
The election certainly feels that way. Even following a vaccine, the continued lockdowns, and the uncertainty about what is to come, have many of us are feeling exhausted even before the new year begins. How can we face 2021 feeling this way?
I will tell you; I look no further than the preeminence of Christ. Paul wrote to the Church at Colossae that, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)
Did you notice that by Him, thrones and dominions and rulers and authorities are created? Do you see how relevant this word is for us today in America as we face 2021 full of uncertainty?
We may not know many things, but we know one thing as sure as the sun lights the sky: by Jesus Christ, rulers and authorities are put in their positions of power.
What joy! What assurance! For we know this God is good and merciful, loving and kind; His ways are perfect.
Why do we fret then? Why do we worry? Why do we wonder how we will keep things together?
Paul continued, “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (v.17).
It is in Him that all things hold together. It is through Him, that’s how.
Do you believe it? If you do as I do, then it is to Him that we should go with all our concerns over January 5 and 6, and 20. We go to Him, and we can rest in His loving care. He is in control.
“[H]e is the head of the body, the church,” Paul wrote, “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent” (v. 18).
Here we arrive at our plan of action, dear readers. Let us allow Jesus Christ to have preeminence in all our endeavors in 2021. He is our aim—His exaltation. Our minds must be continually on Him; we live and breathe, pray and take action in a manner worthy of Him who called us by His grace.
Let joy be our trademark. Let the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, be the sweet aroma permeating all our engagements. God is in control.
In some ways, I see many of us as the disciples on the boat. The storm hit; there is chaos around. They are scared. The boat is filling up with water. Will they make it?
So, they go to Jesus, who is sound asleep in the stern. “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” they asked (Mark 4:38).
Tears fill my eyes almost every time I read that question. We are seriously this clueless—this self-absorbed. We dare question the Master’s love—His care.
Many of us are asking Him this very question today. “Jesus, will you allow them to get away with this? Do you not care?”
He does. It pains me to have to write these two words, but He does. It physically hurts me to admit that I need the reminder.
And consider Jesus’ loving response, even as He rebukes the winds and the rain: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
Well, have you? Do you doubt He can rise and rebuke the political winds from our storm and restore peace?
I tell you, there is no force in nature capable of withstanding His rebuke. Believe it! God is on the move, and He will leave us standing in awe at His mighty works, wondering, “who is this that even the political winds and the pandemic sea obey Him?”
This is as true for us in 2021 as it was for the disciples in Jesus’ day.