Download the questions here
Download the questions here
Facing 2021 in faith
Farquhar’s Midweek Message – Wednesday 6 January 2021
We were reminded as we looked at Habakkuk 3:17-19 as well as what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28-39 that no matter how tough things are we can be sure that, in Christ, God is for us: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us’ (8:31b). In his sermon David wanted us to picture it like a rainbow over our lives containing the words ‘God is for us in Christ’. For evidence that God truly is for us we can look to the PAST and see his love for us in Jesus at the cross; in the PRESENT we can look up and know that the risen Jesus ‘is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’ (v34b); and we can look to the FUTURE and know that nothing ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (v39b).
May we shelter under this rainbow of hope in 2021, putting our hope not in a New Year but in the One who is Lord of the Years and who will be our Guide, Guard and Gracious God in the year ahead.
Yours in Christ Jesus
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A Prayer For a New Year
(Note: A few months ago Tim’s 20 year-old son Nick collapsed suddenly and died – you can read more about this tragedy on his website here. In light of that, it’s clear this prayer isn’t just nice sounding words but a powerful declaration of trust in a loving God who gives and takes away).
My Good and Gracious Father,
You have brought me safely through another year. This was a year in which I saw and experienced so much of your goodness. You were good when you gave, and you were good when you took away; you were good when the sun shined upon me and you were good when the night fell around me. You were only, ever good.
In your Word you give the sure promise that you have loved me since before the foundation of the world. That love was always with me and held me fast through another year. You led me in each step I took. You led me around the wilderness to the places of cool rest and quiet. You led me through dark valleys to the joy beyond. You were there even in times when I wandered and went astray. There was nowhere I could go that was beyond your love, beyond your reach, beyond your care and compassion. You are so good and I am so grateful.
Father, I trust and I believe that your love and your kindness will be my theme in the year ahead. I entrust the future to you and I do it with joy and with confidence. I do it with sure hope that you already know each step I will take and that you will be with me to direct each one of them.
If you have appointed trials and tribulation, I know that you will guide and comfort me through them all. If I have to pass through persecution or times of deep temptation, I can have full confidence that you will never leave me nor forsake me. If this is to be the year you call me home, I can receive that with joy, knowing that I will rejoice to be in your presence at last. If this is the year that Christ returns—Please, may it be the year that Christ returns!—, then I will join with all Creation in rejoicing and praising your name.
But if you grant me length of days, and if you grant me health and safety through the year ahead, it is my prayer and my deep desire that I would live them all in your service and to your glory. Please grant me a grace that guides, sustains and sanctifies me every day and every hour, that in this new year I would not live a moment apart from you. Let me rely on your Spirit to supply every word I need to speak, to direct my every step, to prosper all I do, to build up my faith, and to grant me the heartfelt desire to display your glory, to advance your kingdom, and to declare your gospel.
Whatever may come in the year ahead, I pray that you would glorify yourself through me. In times of joy or sadness, in times of security or trial, in times of peace or temptation, make yourself known and make yourself great through me.
I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
by Tim Challies
This prayer was based in part on the two new year’s prayers in The Valley of Vision.