Another year has come and gone. My guess is many of you are asking, “Where did the year go? I can’t believe it’s 2018!” I recently heard, “The days may be long, but the years are short.” How true this is! Most likely your year has had great joys and victories mixed with some disappointments and sadness. It would be nice to face the new year with expectancy of a perfect life, but as long as we are on this earth, there will be no such thing. Some of you have experienced the loss of a loved one, unexpected unemployment, divorce, family conflicts, a wayward child, a serious health concern, or any other number of very difficult situations.

However, even though you may have walked through trying times, you’re still here! You’re still breathing! You made it even though there were times you wondered if you would. How are you still standing? I believe it is because the hope of Christmas isn’t just for one day or season of the year; it’s for every day of our lives. This hope? Emmanuel – God with us! Through every moment of every day, Jesus is with us. His Holy Spirit lives within us to sustain us, comfort us, and counsel us. Hebrews 13:5 (AMPC), “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax my hold on you)! Assuredly not!”

As we step into 2018 we will again experience some wonderful blessings and victories, but we would be na├»ve to believe we won’t also go through some hard times. We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Isaiah 46:10 (NLT) says, “Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.” Our God knows the end from the beginning. 

We can approach the new year with hope, confidence, and expectation that we will not take a step where God has not already been. There is a song, “Already There,” by Casting Crowns. One line says, “You’re already there standing at the end of my life waiting on the other side.” He is eternity past, present, and future. Nothing takes Him by surprise. We can trust our uncertain future to our all-knowing God. Place your life in His hands and at the end of 2018 you will be able to say, “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.” (I Samuel 7:12)

Bonnie Hammer