For me, the New Year celebration is something I experience with mixed feelings. Something these last two years have taught me is just how uncertain life is. I want to challenge you and me not to allow that uncertainty to drive us in the coming year.
Does uncertainty drive your decision-making? More importantly, does uncertainty drive your determination to obey God or not?
Uncertainty is a part of life and does motivate us in many ways. For example, you may wait to get a new laptop if you are uncertain if you will have sufficient funds. You may avoid making plans with friends or family due to feeling uncertain of what life will bring your way at that time.
However, just because you are uncertain about the future due to the pandemic or due to government regulations, doesn’t mean you should delay obedience to God. His call to make disciples is for all times including every day of 2022 and the years ahead.
1. Abraham Can you imagine packing up and moving without really understanding what you were going to do and where you would be living? That was the call God gave to Abraham, yet he obeyed full of faith amidst the uncertainty.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker God. (Heb 11:8-10)
2. Adoniram and Ann Judson I’m sure Ann’s parents, John and Rebecca Hasseltine, had ideas of what their daughter’s future would look like. Perhaps they imagined her marrying a pastor and serving in a town nearby or, a more extreme possibility, that she may live in a major city like Boston or New York, which would have required significant effort to visit.
Perhaps they never imagined her marrying a missionary and moving across the globe with the good possibility they would never see her again. Adoniram understood the cost of obedience. Here is the letter of proposal he sent to his future father-in-law seeking his blessing,
I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair. (Quoted in Courtney Anderson, To The Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson [Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1987], 83.)
In this new year, don’t allow the uncertainty of 2022 to rule your heart.
Let Christ rule and determine to obey Him.
Happy New Year! May God be honored in and through you in 2022.
Administrator for Church Relations and Enlistment
Travis Gravley & his wife Becky are former missionaries to Romania. He serves as BMM’s Administrator for Church Relations and Enlistment. Contact him at email@example.com to learn more ways to serve.