by Calven Celliers
2020 has been a tough year, for all of us, in one way of another! The winds of change have swept through our lives forcing us to rethink, re-budget, reinvent and remind ourselves that although current circumstances won’t go on forever, some of the necessary adjustments will at the very least be with us for a long time to come. I’ve heard it said that whilst we may all be in this storm together; the reality is that we’re in different boats. Regardless of where you may find yourself at the end of this difficult year, my heartfelt prayer is that you have personally experienced the faithfulness of God along the way.
Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins once commented that “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”
For us as believers, however, 2020 has been an unexpected opportunity to prove that our faith is anything but a cop-out, or an excuse to evade the need to think. Former chaplain at both Harvard University and Stanford University, the late David Elton Trueblood, hit the nail on the head when he said that, “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” It’s human nature not to trust strangers. But the more time you spend with someone, getting to know them, investing in the relationship, the more likely you are to trust them and believe what they say. 2020 has been a year in which God has certainly shown Himself faithful to His people.
At its core, faith is a state of trust. The author of Hebrews goes so far as to say that “6 …without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6NIV) The more dependent we are on God to show up and come through, the more we get to witness God’s capacity. We cannot live, nor testify to, what we do not know. God’s desire is for our faith to be emboldened, and this can only happen with ongoing experiences where we are placed in situations and circumstances where we are required to trust in God without reservation.
What we glean from Scripture is that God created all things, knows all things, has unlimited power, and is therefore in control of everything. That is what His sovereignty means. Nothing happens outside of God’s knowledge and nothing happens outside of God’s permission. 2020 did not take God by surprise! Everything we go through is significant in the grand scheme of things. There is a master plan. Or should I say the Master’s plan.
We will experience troubles during life, but as Scripture reminds us, God will give us the peace, wisdom, and strength to get through every situation we face because He has already overcome whatever we endure. So be encouraged! While none of us knows what 2021 holds, we know and trust in Him who holds 2021. God is so faithful and I want to urge you to continue drawing near to Him. There’s a very real sense in me that we are in the midst of testimony forming territory, and we have the privilege of experiencing God in ways we never have before.
God bless you,