2021 will be better … right??

Goodbye, 2020! Hello, 2021!

Many would say “Good riddance!” to 2020. We’re ready to put the ugly elements of the past year in the rearview mirror – the pandemic, societal unrest, riots, economic woes, the election, etc.

My Six Picks post this week links to another writer’s article about longing for 2021. The article makes a great point: Our reason for hope is not the turning of the calendar. Our reason for hope is the Savior who is with us in the new year!

For as hard as 2020 has been for many people, we can redeem a difficult year by embracing its lessons. By God’s grace, 2021 can be a better year not because events will be more favorable but because we’ll be more prepared to handle them.

1. By God’s grace, 2021 will be better because you’ll be wiser. We tend to learn more from struggles than from easy times. What lessons has 2020 taught you? It has been said rightly that God doesn’t waste pain. Having been down the road of 2020, you’ve experienced things and learned valuable lessons.

2. By God’s grace, 2021 will be better because you’ll be more resilient. We gain confidence when we persevere through struggles. With experience working through challenges, we can approach new obstacles with grit and courage. Scripture teaches, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) As we emerge from struggles holding onto Jesus, God strengthens our character and makes us more hopeful people.

3. By God’s grace, 2021 will be better because you’ll be more thankful. We often take things for granted and only come to appreciate them once they’re taken away. Several people remarked to me how meaningful it was for them to attend Christmas Eve services in the Worship Center. At Easter, we could only gather in the parking lot. For many, being able to celebrate Christmas in a cherished environment was something they appreciated in a new way this year.

Jesus leads us into 2021. For whatever we may encounter in the new year, He arms us with wisdom, resilience, and thankfulness.

Happy New Year!

(Related post: New Year’s 2020. The world has changed a lot in one year!)

Author: Christopher Kennedy

Senior Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, School, and Child Care in San Antonio, Texas. Husband to my beloved Ashley. Dad to the four most wonderful children in the world.

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