I get it! 2016 has kind of sucked. Really. Tragedy after tragedy. Death after death. Casualty after casualty. Despair, destruction and depravity run amok. I cannot even begin to list all of the headline making news because I’m sure I would forget something. Too many people have died. Too many tragedies have occurred. Too much! Good bye 2016! Hello 2017!
But, let me pause. Take a breath. Hang on a second. I agree that 2016 was hard. But here is the foundational truth that Bible-believing Christians should remember: God was indeed sovereign over 2016. Jesus never left the throne in 2016. The Holy Spirit did not take a nap in 2016. All of that stuff happened on God’s watch. And not only did it happen while He was watching, He was actually actively involved in the day-to-day activities of 2016.
That is crazy to think about, I admit. But if you believe in the total sovereignty of God, then it must be true. If Romans 8:28 and Psalm 115:3 and Proverbs 16:9 and Genesis 50:20 and scores of other verses are true, then God’s absolute sovereignty over 2016 must be true as well.
Therefore, and read this carefully and know I say this with all the best intentions, when we complain about 2016, we are complaining against God. When we say good riddance to 2016 we are actually saying that we wish to rid the world of God’s plans for the past 12 months. And I don’t think we really intend on doing that, but when the sentiment is followed through to the final conclusion, that is ultimately what we are saying.
As Christians we must be armed with this truth when we are in answering our non-Christian friend’s and neighbor’s questions about the past year. We must have a robust understanding of God’s goodness as well as man’s depravity and the reality of the cloud of sin we currently live in. That God intends for harmony and peace and beauty and tranquility and a flourishing, productive, God-honoring society, and has actually promised one in the future. But right now, for the past however-many-thousand years, God’s plans are still the best plans. 2o16 was literally “Your Best Life Now” because it was God’s year and He doesn’t get any better.
I do look back at 2016 and wonder, “Why this, God?” But then I remember that no plan of God will ever be thwarted (Job 42:2.) So I look forward to 2017, with all the ups and downs, ins and outs, peaks and valleys, and trust that God is still in control.