In Christ Alone: Hope for the New Year

In Christ Alone: Hope for the New Year

 

So the clock will strike midnight, and the ball will drop, and I never have been anticipating a new beginning more than this moment.

Maybe you’re with me. The past 365 days (and more) have held many moments I’m eager to count as history. There were dark days. Overwhelming moments. Kids whined and tempers flared and tears flowed and plans went awry and relationships were stretched thin.

If your year was like mine, there were questions without answers, and things I regret needed forgiveness, and wounds needed healing. The unexpected knocked the wind from my lungs, and my faith was tested.

 

I had to ask myself the question.

Is Christ enough?

Do I really believe, “In Christ Alone?”

 

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Sure, I know I need to trust Him alone for salvation and freedom from my sins.

I can’t earn it. Another human can’t gift it to me. Only the perfect and sinless sacrificial Lamb could grant me that status of freedom and forgiveness.

 

Yes, I know He is enough to rescue me and change my eternal destiny.

But is Christ enough… right now?
During the past year?
In the messy, everyday moments?
In the life-changing, monumental discouragements?

 

What about when He doesn’t give us seemingly good things… an impactful career, an exemplary marriage, a luxurious existence, friend to listen… a baby.

Am I ok with that?

Am I still grateful?

Do I think I deserve more?

Do I need that thing to be content? To be joyful?

 

Or is God enough? Really enough?

Enough for eternity and enough for the moment and enough when we are longing for something so deeply that our wants looks so much like needs, but God still doesn’t grant them. Is He enough on the days when the hours drag on and when the house is chaotic and when my heart aches for the “ideal” that never will be?

 

He is enough.

He died for me.

He forgave me.

He changed my life. He changed my future. He changed my everyday existence.

 

The career and spouse and children and friends and family and home and positions and health and the next moment of life itself are just “the cherry on top.”
Everything is another undeserved gift.

He already met my one true need.

 

I have wrestled with the promise that God will provide what we need…
Yet there are people around the world starving because they don’t have the food their bodies need…
There are people closer to home depressed because they don’t have the people they need…
There are people dying daily because they don’t have the cure they need. But what if these “needs” are not actually needs in God’s eternal perspective?

What if, even when relationships shatter and loved ones are lost and healing isn’t granted and bills go unpaid… what if, He still meets us there – meets us in our need.
Meets our real need by meeting us in our need.

 

The same Emmanuel from the Christmas stories is the Emmanuel that meets us here – God. With. Us.
God meeting us, and thus meeting our need.

Reminding us that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. In the future. And not the future that greets us after a sparkly ball descends over horn-blowing, streamer-waving crowds, but the future that opens to an everlasting life.

This year, and the next, and any that can be constrained by a numbered grid on a page… this is not what life is about. There is only one true need of this life, because that need carries over into the next. The real life. Never-ending forever life, where we’ll really “get” what true life is all about.

 

And he already met our one true need. The need to be rescued. He died for us. He gave us an opportunity to know Him. To commune with Him. To be forgiven. To live in heaven forever. THAT is the ONE need. That is ENOUGH. And even that… I don’t deserve it, and the magnitude of the mercy he gives in just that one gift is beyond comprehension.

 

 

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I know I need to trust.

Not only for the “forever,” but also for the now.
Why do I trust so easily that God holds my eternal destiny secure, but think that He may need my help for orchestrating this next year or my next afternoon?

 

I know I need to stop fear, the discouragement. To stop my desire to have the illusion of control. To halt disappointment. To conquer the dark. To replace it with trust. To substitute it for satisfaction… that He has done enough. That He is enough.

 

If I need to trust Christ alone for eternal salvation, what is it that I need to trust Christ for here, for now, as the calendar pages still turn?

 

In the past year, did I need to trust that He would save my unborn baby?
Or that He would somehow get me through if I lost this baby too?

I wasn’t confident that He would do the former. As much as it was my wish, it wasn’t my true need. I had lost a baby before, and it was possible again.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to trust that He would do the latter. I didn’t want to have to trust that much.

 

It wasn’t until a month after we went through with surgery after our second miscarriage that I finally understood.

I wasn’t supposed to trust in something God would do or something He would give me.

I needed to trust in who God is.

 

Is God good? Yes.

Is God all-powerful? Yes.

Does God love me? And my husband? And all three of my children? Yes. And yes. And yes, yes, yes.

 

My present circumstance simply isn’t the point.
He is still good, loving, intimately caring and all-powerful.

Could that be what Joseph grasped when he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good”? Or what Job understood as he declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him”?

 

The reality is, He may not meet my perceived needs. Struggles come. My wishes aren’t granted. Life still gets hard.

But He has already met my ultimate need. Not to fill my belly with fine foods and cushion my sleep with silk fabrics and complete my family photos with a multitude of smiling faces. But to meet me in my sinful, weak state and love me with a passion so strong it led to his ultimate sacrifice. To bear the pain that should have been mine to grant me a full pardon for the punishment I deserve. To secure my eternal future.
He’s met THE need.
And I don’t deserve even that one need being met.

 

My breath. My daughter. My husband. My home. My million other reasons to smile. My chance to flip the calendar to another year. The fact that He meets me here – in the dark and mundane and overwhelming – He is here. With me. Still Emmanuel.

 

Those are His gifts. Undeserved. Bonuses. Overabundance.

He has met the need.

In everything else, no matter what He gives or takes away, He’s already overflowed the cup.

 

He is enough.

For eternity.

For every single moment of 2015.

 

My prayer tonight is that you and I both remember that into the new year and beyond.

Christ alone. The sole way of salvation. The sole satisfying element of this life. The sole thing that will ever be enough… no matter what you and I are facing… no matter what’s to come in the new year.

One Response

  1. I’m so sorry you had such a rough year. I don’t have anything wise to say, just that I’ll be praying for encouragement and strength for you and your family. And I hope 2015 is filled with joy.

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