I’ve never sailed the sea in the middle of a storm during the night without toilet paper, but I’m pretty sure living through 2020 comes close.
This past year has been unprecedented to say the least. One year ago we were all approaching 2020 with great anticipation and enthusiasm. This would be the year of vision. This would be the year that dawned a new decade.
No one saw it coming. No one was expecting it.
As we close the books on 2020, let me remind you that nothing took God by surprise.As we close the books on 2020, let me remind you that nothing took God by surprise. Click To Tweet
King David (a man who knew the feeling of isolation, despair, and depression) penned these inspired words as he reflected upon God’s ever-presence in his life: “…all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began” (Psalm 139:16b).
God knows your future with perfect memory. God has a plan with perfect purpose.
Against the backdrop of God’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, I want to share with you five bold predictions for 2021.
These are not fortune cookie predictions; vague over-generalities about good fortune coming your way. I simply want to share with you where I sense the wind is blowing.
Like the “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do,” (1 Chron. 12:32) we, as Christ-followers, must be aware of the culture we live in and willing to walk in wisdom with boldness.
Without further adieu, here are my five bold predictions for 2021:
1. The unexpected will occur…again.
I’ve been hearing people say, “I can’t wait until 2021 gets here!” Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment. There’s a desire to put 2020 in the past and move on with life. There’s nothing wrong with that.
However, let’s not be guilty of putting our hope in a year. 2021 will not save us. When the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, our problems and struggles won’t magically disappear. Nothing truly changes except the date on a calendar.2021 holds it's own version of the unexpected. Click To Tweet
There will still be conflict, divisions, and turmoil. 2021 holds it’s own version of the unexpected. I’m not trying to be doom and gloom. I’m trying to help us identify where we are really putting our hope and trust. Are you trusting in a new calendar year or are you trusting in the God of the calendar year?
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7
2. Unity among believers will be paramount.
Did you know Jesus prayed specifically for you the night before he was crucified? Do you know what his prayer was? He didn’t pray for your health, wealth, safety, or security. Jesus prayed for your unity with other believers.
2021 will bring about more issues to potentially divide us. That’s the nature of a fallen, sinful world. The world only knows how to produce chaos and it’s good at it. (Sermon Series –> In the Chaos)The world only knows how to produce chaos and it's good at it. Click To Tweet
It’s imperative that believers live in unity for the sake of the world. Your salvation is not at stake. The salvation of others is at stake. Jesus prays for our oneness so that the world may believe! Our unity becomes a witness to a divisive, chaotic world.
“May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.” John 17:21
3. Your faith will be tested.
This coming year will most certainly provide opportunities and situations to practice what you preach, walk what you talk, do what you say. Your faith will be tested.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the world is becoming more hostile toward Christianity. (Note: I didn’t say Christians.) To be clear, the world gladly accepts the love, forgiveness, do-unto-others version of Christianity. However, the world emphatically rejects absolute truth, the reality of the resurrection and Jesus as the only way.If you're paying attention, you'll notice the world is becoming more hostile toward Christianity. Click To Tweet
What are the implications? The implications are if you are truly committed to living for Jesus, your faith will be tested. It will be tested by your neighbors, at work, and on social media. You will be hushed, ridiculed, mocked, and questioned. Don’t be alarmed. When you have a solid foundation in Christ, you can stand firm!
“But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:33
4. Skepticism will increase.
You’ve probably noticed over the past year that it’s becoming harder and harder to find trust-worthy sources. Who do you listen to? Who’s telling the truth? It seems like for every “expert” there’s an equal and opposite “expert.”
Thankfully big tech is here to save the day with their fact-checking algorithms! Right?
This past year has amplified the skepticism of news media, politicians, big tech, and pastors. Yes…even pastors.
So who can we trust?
First, we need to understand that people will let us down. People can be lead astray by selfish ambition or faulty rationale. That’s why it’s so important that we have a plumb line to measure all thoughts and ideas. Scripture is the plum line. It’s the standard of absolute truth!
Next, grounded in the truth of God’s Word, ask God to give you discernment through the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised us the Comforter to be our Guide. As you navigate 2021, use your Guide!
“How happy is anyone who has put his trust in the Lord and has not turned to the proud or to those who run after lies!” Psalm 40:4
5. The Bible will still be relevant.
The Bible has always been relevant and will always be relevant. It’s not relevant because I make it so or because it helps me throughout my day. Listen carefully: I am not the central figure in the Bible, and neither are you. The Bible is not about me! The Bible is about Jesus Christ! It’s His Story!
Yes, the Bible shows us the way, teaches us how to live, directs our path, reveals what unconditional love looks like, purifies our motives, and sheds light on our imperfections. But most importantly, the Bible points us to Jesus Christ.
And that will be more relevant in 2021 than ever before.
“and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15The Bible is not about me! The Bible is about Jesus Christ! It's His Story! Click To Tweet
As we approach this new year, let’s do it with purpose and intentionality. Don’t flippantly slide into 2021 holding a handful of hopeful wishes. You have a work to do! You have a spiritual calling before you to press on toward the prize! Prepare your heart and mind for action.
Find joy in the small things.
Seek wisdom in the big things.
Pray earnestly in the hard things.
Be faithful in the simple things.