By The Rev. Billy Holland
We are at the end of another year and it always brings thoughts of starting fresh and having hope for the future. Most of us have watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve which officially declares, “out with the old and in with the new.” At midnight, people from all over the world will celebrate the turning of the next page of their lives. Over the years, the “time-ball” has undergone several changes in design, and the most recent was created for the Millennial celebration in the year 2000 by Waterford Crystal. It’s a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighing approximately 1,070 pounds. It’s covered with a total of 504 crystal triangles that vary in size and each piece has a special designation: Hope for Love, Peace, Wisdom, Unity, Courage, Healing, etc. The Name of the ball itself? “The Star of Hope.”
It’s wonderful to have hope as it’s a positive and optimistic attitude to believe that everything is going to be alright. However, there is a difference between wishing and knowing. The time ball might be called the star of hope, but Jesus Christ the Son of God not only came to bring hope, He is literally our only hope. This means that unless He is our Lord and Savior, we do not have a hope of becoming what Jesus died for us to be or the promise of eternal life. When we are born-again and become a child of God we are given a type of hope that allows us to rest in the reality that He is the absolute truth and everything He has guaranteed will come to pass. When He declares that He can not only redeem us, but we can spend eternity in Heaven with Him, we have a blessed assurance that means more than any dream or aspiration the world can offer. Christ in us is the hope of glory as we surrender out will to God in the reality of knowing Him as our eternal spiritual Father.
If you have been stressed lately and your prayer life has recognized more negative resistance than usual, then congratulations, you are perfectly normal. We are indeed distracted, but much of our stress is our own fault. No one is making us watch television, play games, or be absorbed in social media. We should understand that living a holy and obedient life before God is difficult enough without us refusing to take our responsibility to stay focused seriously. Scanning the headlines we know there is a lot of strange things going on in the world. I’m often asked about my thoughts pertaining to Biblical prophecy including the topics of rapture and tribulation? I realize that most everyone has speculations and interpretations, but let’s just say that God is in control and everything is moving according to His perfect will. The wise decision would be to make sure we are as close to God as possible. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When we think about New Year resolutions, this passage defines how we are to allow God to be the Master and King of who we are and everything we say and do. The foundation of being a Christian is to invite God to control and possess us.
There are many individuals and families that are going through all types of difficulties. Whatever the crisis, disappointments, worries, and fears, there is no higher priority than to consider our spiritual relationship with the Lord. Our creator has given every person an open invitation to come to Him as He longs to be your best friend. This coming year is filled with unlimited possibilities and He is waiting for you to embrace Him as the Lord and Master of your life! January means “beginning” and is a wonderful time to receive His forgiveness. He loves you more than anything and there is so much He is waiting to reveal to you. II Corinthians chapter six reminds us, “Behold now is the accepted time: behold now is the day of salvation.” As a messenger, I will never say anything more important than today is the perfect time to embrace the grace and mercy of God and sincerely give your life to Him.
Dr. Holland is an ordained minister, community chaplain, and Christian author. We invite you to read more about God and the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com