As the first day of 2013 dawned last Tuesday, I found myself wondering what the year would hold for me and my family, my nation, and my world. At the dismal close of 2012, it seemed as if the whole world were spinning out of control. Even while reading Christmas card wishes for a “Happy and Prosperous New Year,” I doubted that happy and prosperous were likely, in light of such gigantic problems.
In my quiet time with God that sun-sprayed morning, I focused on what things could make this a happy and prosperous year. My Holy House Guest led me 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter is commonly known as the love chapter, because it defines what love is in real terms, not what Hollywood or country music say it is. We should re-read it often. The writer also speaks of things that will go away after Jesus returns to earth, but what caught my attention were the three things that will remain—faith, hope, and love. As I pondered the uncertainly of the next 365 days, I wrote in my journal that faith, hope, and love were my three New Year’s wishes for both me and my troubled world.
My first wish is for faith. Personally, I wish for faith to write God’s message with power and clarity, for faith to win the lost to Christ, and faith to move mountains of fear and unbelief anywhere I encounter them. Within the body of believers, I wish for faith that results in signs and wonders, healings, miracles, and demonstrations of power, as experienced by the 1st Century Christians. I wish for faith that delivers people from the bondage of sin, restores families and marriages, and gives children a safe environment both in and out of the womb. I wish for faith that brings an awakening to righteousness in our country, causing establishments of sin to shut down as they did in days when Charles Finney preached across America. I wish for God’s own people to repent of our sins, our friendship with the world, and our indifference to the things of God. Plainly stated—I wish for REVIVAL in America!
With the world crumbling around us as nation after nation falls into turmoil and unrest, my second wish is for hope—hope in the “God of hope” (Romans 15:13). I hope for a cure for cancer, Lou Gerick’s disease, and every other life-sucking disease. I hope for the end of wars, world hunger, and sex-trafficking. I hope for men everywhere to hate what is evil. I hope for world leaders to stop killing their own people and to work together for the good of all. I hope for truth and righteousness to be restored in governments around the world—especially in America. I hope for integrity to trump political parties, denominations, and union affiliation; and for godly character to motivate actions rather than personal gain or ambition. I hope for the Church of Jesus Christ to be clearly recognizable as the people with the answers.
Last, but most importantly, I wish for love. I am reminded of the words from a once popular song: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love; that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…not just for some, but for everyone.” I believe love would solve all of the world’s problems—but only if it is LOVE FOR GOD. If all people loved God and lived to please Him alone—not bowing to other gods, leaders, governments, religion, or people—the problems of the world would disappear. I wish for a world in which love rules over fear, hatred, greed, and selfishness; a world where pride, prejudice, jealousy, unforgiveness, and revenge are dismantled and replaced with love. Oh, how I wish for love, sweet love—not just for some, but for everyone.
Is it realistic to wish for such optimism in our world? Of course! Did not Jesus teach us pray to our Heavenly Father, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” These are the very prayers God will and does answer. The Bible says in Revelation 11:15: “The whole world has now become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever” (NLT). That, my friend, would make 2013 a very happy and prosperous year! Let us not just wish; let’s start asking. ~Janie Kellogg