We often find ourselves inquiring about the time of day, referring to our watches or our cell phones. I once had a staff member who used neither. It is funny how he was always late! As we end a new year and begin another, it is good to consider the issue of time. After all, the wise apostle urged us to “make the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). We can squander or steward our time. Too often I have felt like the Mad Hatter of “Alice in Wonderland”: “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.”
Of course we must not delay and drag our feet when important work is to be done. Some of us have been putting off something this past year. Perhaps there was a job to do, someone who needed forgiveness, an unsaved person who needed your witness. As you are “above ground” and alive reading this, then very likely God is speaking to you. Do not develop a callous heart which comes from repeated resistance to His calls and conviction. “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart” (Hebrews 4:7).
As the clock ticks and years pass, we are closer to Jesus’ return than ever. Even though He entered time and space that first Christmas and was “manifested in the last times” (1 Peter 1:20), there is still the latter part of the last days. He could come in clouds for His people this year!
God has some exciting things for us this coming year. No matter what happens, “In the day of my trouble I call upon You, for You answer me” (Psalm 86:7). There is a whole profession of so-called futurists, “experts” who tell us what the world will be like and how we should prepare for it. They usually predict radical changes, and that even change itself is changing. People tend to expect the future to be ominous. While the future fascinates some and frightens others, the Christian has faith knowing that God is still at work.
We’ve been through many crises, and just about the time we thought we could breathe freely again, we were told to prepare for another peril or hide in our shelters or flee to the mountains. While old problems pass and new problems take their place, life goes on.
Jesus goes before His sheep to prepare the way. We are not to second-guess or doubt Him but follow Him. God is our “dwelling place in all generations” (Psalm 90:1). Perhaps this is a good time for us to remember the words of the great preacher and revivalist, John Wesley, whose dying words were, “The best of all is, God is with us!”