I was thinking this morning of the brand new year that lies ahead. Only God knows what lies ahead for me and my family. While I can plan, prepare, and pray for the future, I have no control over the future. Therefore, I do not know whether this year will be a better year situationally and circumstantially than 2011. My prayer and expectation is that it would be more God-centered than the previous.

Think about this. Over two thousand years ago, around this time, at the beginning of a new year, Jesus (with full understanding of what would happen) sat thinking, contemplating, and overviewing his last year on earth. According to many, Jesus’ last year would not be better than the previous; for in this year he would face an excruciating death. Not to mention how his death unfolded by betrayal, lies, torture, and humiliation. Nevertheless, it would be a year that God would do far more abundantly than anyone could ever have imagined. Through what seemed as defeat and death, God flexed his power, raising Jesus from the dead, sending the Spirit to fill believers, and launching a movement that has not ceased to this day. While situationally and circumstantially Jesus’ (last) year did not look better than the previous, it would be better because God would work and do, in and through His Son Jesus, what only he could do. It would be a year where God displayed more power and glory than the previous year.

So, as we all look forward to this new year, I do not know what the new year holds—only God does. I do not know whether this year will be full of defeats, set-backs, hurts, heartaches, losses, victories, joys, highlights, or blessings. However, I do know that God is not done flexing and displaying his power, might, and glory to the world. Therefore, he, in anticipating fashion, waits expectantly to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Eph 3:20). As we plan, prepare and pray for this new year let us understand that God desires to display his power and glory in and through us no matter what the future holds, whether good or bad, better or not. Let us then expect this year to be a more God-centered year than 2011.