Mark 8:18 “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?“
“Our expectations shape the perception of our experiences.”
I heard this phrase in a sermon recently and thought to myself, what was my expectation for 2020?
I’ve heard people say that 2020 was going to be a year of vision, seeing clearly, or any other description that correlated with clarity. A phrase that I’m more familiar with is “Hindsight is 2020”. This seems to make more sense to me and one we can now look back on and ask ourselves, what we learned from a year in turmoil.
What did we expect?
Did we think that a year that had a nice ring to it was going to somehow change the world in which we now live? Every new year’s eve many watch a fireworks show, a ball drop, or some other form of celebration that marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. The hope is always that maybe, or somehow, everything will be better tomorrow. Should we expect this world to change because the calendar looks a little different?
Do you know what time and era Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24?
Yes, the times and world we live in are not going to get better and better, we aren’t going to see peace arise in our land and no president is going to change the world to make it a better place. I’m sorry if that is discouraging to you, but this world is not our home, nor is it going to last….it is corrupt.
This world is on a pathway to complete annihilation. The Lord is going to melt it completely down, like a metalsmith takes a piece of scrap and reforms it into something other than it’s original form.
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
I have many dear friends who are much older than I am. I don’t know why, but the Lord has always seemed to connect me with men that are several years my age. Looking back, I needed their wisdom, and I needed to see what maturity looked like. In talking with these men of wisdom I’ve learned what my country looked like before I remember it. The culture was very different, the people acted differently, and our government and laws were quite different as well.
America at one time was a very ‘religious’ nation. I am not a fan of the term “religion”, it is not an endearing term for it has been corrupted by mankind for thousands of years. I am a fan of Jesus. Jesus isn’t religion, He embodies Holiness, Justice, Power, Love, and the list could go on for a long, long, time. Knowing Jesus is to be in a relationship with Him. Going to a church helps with getting to know Him but it isn’t the main source to His throne, reading my Bible is a great way to get to know Jesus as well, but likewise, it isn’t the main source.
Jesus anoints us with His Spirit.
How does someone know they are saved?—-By His Spirit dwelling within them.
* I’m sorry, I love talking about Jesus and I tend to get off subject.
When we reflect back on a year, we can see if our expectations actually became a reality. How many times have you made new year’s resolutions, only to break them? There is a long running joke on how long a resolution lasts before it ends.
Isn’t the definition of a fool one who repeats the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? Well, at least something like that.
Here is a little dose of biblical reality:
Ecclesiastes 2:16 “For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!”
Yes, whether you are wise or a fool, eventually your legacy will disappear as everyone else’s has in history. This begs the question…why try to become wise?
We are not called to leave a legacy that glories our name, we are called to glorify Jesus to our generation now. The people we live around, our neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else the Lord so chooses to bring into our realm of influence are those to whom we are called. If we will only be found faithful now, then we can go on in peace knowing we did what we were purposed to do.
1 Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”
If by some miraculous way your name is remembered by more than a couple generations, by the time that era comes around, you really won’t care otherwise….you will be gone. Any information of someone that left a lasting legacy is usually only anecdotal information anyhow. Do you really care that Einstein helped with creating the first atomic bomb? You may think he was a really smart guy or you might be intrigued by his hairstyle but ultimately all that matters is how it affects your reality now.
The only One that you really want to remember your faithfulness, love, compassion, or grace is Jesus. He is the One who controls your destiny, He is the One who will preside as judge of all mankind.
Ecclesiastes 1:11 “There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of thingsthat are to come By those who will come after.”
Looking back on this past year, it would have been very difficult to predict what was to occur. We all have watched the news and experienced the drama of a global pandemic…everyone was affected.
What we can see now is that regardless of how bad a time or era can be, God doesn’t change. This knowledge is a stabilizing force in a world that is ever changing.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
Jesus is that fixed star in the sky by which to navigate. His law is steadfast, His throne is still sovereign, and yet His mercies are new every morning——great is His faithfulness.
If you keep your eyes on Jesus, the chaos of this world will just become a cinematic blur in the background of what real life entails.
Regardless of 2021 holds, Jesus will continue to remain the same, so He commands us—-do not fear.