My dear friends,
How time flies! 2017 is less than a day away. As I look back and reflect over the past year, it’s been filled with many challenges, many hardships, many tragedies, many blessings and many unsettling things going on in the world.
We saw victory mingled with great loss, hope mingled with despair, love mingled with hate, violence mingled with kindness, pain mingled with happiness, light mingled with darkness.
Politically we saw the election of Donald Trump in a landslide victory, the fall of liberalism, the alarming rise of Islamic terrorism, the failed Open Doors policy in Germany, the BREXIT victory, the rise of populism in many Western countries.
Socially, we saw some serious advancements in the decay of Christian values and morality. Deplorable things such as same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and many more were pushed to the forefront by the cultural Marxists. We also saw a lot of oppression, persecution and malevolent behaviour against Christians and the Christian faith in general.
Economically, many Western countries experienced unprecedented debt and third world countries saw unprecedented levels of financial hardship. Even as I write this, India and Venezuela are suffering from the effects of a collapsed economy.
Let’s lay aside all the bad things of this past year and let’s move on armed with hope, courage and fortitude of the victories of today into the future.
I believe 2017 can be a great year for change worldwide. But change starts with each of us. We – all of us – can be the catalysts for change. In 2017, once the revelling’s all over, life will go on as usual. We must be ready to be used of the Lord for his purposes to change the world and promote God’s truth as found in His written word.
Matthew 5:14-16 says:
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Notice that it says “you are the light of the world” not “you will become the light of the world”! As Christians we are the light of the world. That is one of our tasks as followers of Christ. It is not an assumption nor is it an option it is a directive from our Commanding Officer – Jesus Christ. So if you’re not being a light in the world… in the darkness, then you had better be because this is what God requires of you as a born again Christian!
Are we being a light to the world around us? Are we truly?
We must not hide our light. It must be visible. It must be seen. It must shine forth and radiate brightly! We must not be timid. We must not be afraid! We must stick out as though we were a city on top of a hill!
Our good works do not make us better Christians, they make us better reflections of the power of Jesus Christ.
I want tell you that the real hope for the future of the world is not in politics or anything else. It’s in the spiritual realm. It’s always been that way. It will always be that way and we are assured of this in Scripture.
Despite the changing political, economic and social climates, we can be confident in the fact that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Whilst the world changes, He remains the same. While the world is faithless, He remains faithful.
I don’t know what 2017 holds but we can take comfort in the fact that the Lord is in control over everything. Because we know He holds the future, we have no reason to be fearful.
I know one thing is certain and that is there will be more and more challenges from those who will seek with great determination to jackhammer the foundations of the Christian faith and tear through the very fabric Western society which is based on Judaeo-Christian values.
Despite the fierceness and tenacity of Satan’s army, we can be assured that the gates of hell will never ever prevail against the church of Jesus Christ (Matt 16:18).
We live in unprecedented times and if you are a child of God, you’ve got to be willing to stand in the gap for the sake of Christ. You’ve got to be willing to defend the faith that you espouse and you’ve got to be willing to stand up for freedom, truth and Christian value against the immoral tide of the left wing masses.
You’ve got to be a soldier as scared, small and helpless as you may feel. God’s with you and because of that glorious truth, none of us have any reason to fear!
2 Corinthians 5:20 reminds us: “now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
We have the hope of God! And because we have that hope we can share it with the world around us – a lost and dying world that is thirsty and hungry for something better. And what better fulfilment than to find Jesus Christ, the fountain of living waters? The only one who can truly quench the infinite wells of longing and desire in the human heart.
God has given us a command to be His ambassadors. Let’s do it to the best of our ability in 2017! Make it your #1 New Year’s resolution to live for Christ, to be a “radical” Christian by forsaking all worldliness and living, sacrificing and labouring for Christ in the way that he has commanded each of us to.
For His Glory,
Caleb S. Stephen
Editor in Chief of The Caleb Report, freelance journalist and international columnist