Well, hello, 2021! What took you so long to get here?
I think we will all admit that 2020 was a challenging year. We certainly saw God move in powerful ways, and we should definitely celebrate that. We also witnessed the birth of a global pandemic. We saw friends and family turning their backs on one another because of differing political views. For 12 months, we have been on the front row of one of the craziest years in world history.
So what about 2021? We didn’t know in January of 2020 what was just around the corner, so it makes me wonder what is just around the corner in this new year. Since I can’t predict the future, I will stick to what I know. What we needed in January 2020 is the exact same thing we need in January of 2021. We need a growing, vibrant relationship with God, and that is only possible through Jesus. We need Jesus!
I realize many of us will set some goals for the new year, and I think that is awesome. There is nothing wrong with creating some personal goals and pursuing them throughout the coming year. The only caution I would give is a simple one. If you get to the end of 2021 and all you did was crush your goals of losing weight, dropping a bad habit, spending more time with family, or reducing your debt load, you will find yourself at the end of 2021 still missing the most important thing: knowing the Lord.
I love Jeremiah 9:23–24, and I think it is a really appropriate verse for the beginning of this new year, especially if we are starting the year off with the end of 2021 in mind.
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
— Jeremiah 9:23–24
It seems like God is way less interested in our wisdom, power and wealth than we are. It seems like he is most concerned with how well we understand and know him. The amazing thing is he made it possible for us to know him through Jesus. Actually, the only way to truly know God is through Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
— John 14:6
Praise God for making a way for us to know and be fully known by our great Creator, God and King. Let’s go into 2021 with some fresh goals and better habits, but let’s make sure our favorite habit and number-one goal is getting to know our faithful God more and more with every passing day.