As we welcome in a new year, and all the good and bad that may hold, Woman Alive’s editor Tola-Doll Fisher reassures us that even if trouble is ahead, we have all we need in Christ
I love magazines and the Christmas holidays always provide a good chance for me to take time out to read the huge stack that pile up throughout the year. As I looked through my most recent collection, I noticed that they all featured a horoscope page at the back. Even though Christians may not read horoscopes, nearly of all us are keen to know what the future holds – it is why we can sometimes view the gift of prophecy as more important than any other gifts of the Spirit.
This idea may be reinforced by quoting 1 Corinthians 14:3: ‘But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.’ When it’s a prophecy about something good happening, we’re all ears! But what about when it’s not?
Even though Christians may not read horoscopes, nearly of all us are keen to know what the future holds.
Some years ago, while going through a painful separation with my now ex-husband, I was in Singapore for New Year’s Eve. After celebrating with some friends, I went for a walk by myself and ended up in a huge church. The worship was sung in Chinese but they switched to English for the sermon and I heard one of the most memorable messages I have ever heard in a church. The pastor looked out at the hundreds of people in the large auditorium, many of whom were still singing and dancing in praise, and said solemnly that it is good to celebrate the beginning of a new year with all the anticipation of good things to come. He then went on to say that for some, even many of us, it would be a year fraught with trials and difficulties. He spoke of the pain, heartache and trouble that might come in the year ahead. But he then said that, in Christ, we have all that we need, because God is with us; Emmanuel. That is exactly the message of the season we have just celebrated. That message was so poignant for me because the following year was probably the hardest in my entire life, and it ended with the divorce being finalised.
He spoke of the pain, heartache and trouble that might come in the year ahead. But he then said that, in Christ, we have all that we need.
So whatever you are going through at the moment, I hope it helps to be reminded that God is an ‘ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1). This year might be a tough one for some of us, maybe for many of us, but Jesus is our reassurance and our hope, as he himself explains: ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).