Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Ahhh…new year, clean slate, new beginning. Twelve months of potential.

But not everyone is optimistic about the future. Some say that if the past is any indication, we’re in for big trouble in 2011.

Newspaper headlines from 2010 brimmed with accounts of disasters. We witnessed manmade disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We watched as natural disasters unleashed a severe earthquake on Haiti and floods in Pakistan. Weather occurrences ushered in the hottest summer on record in South Florida and mudslides in California. An Indonesian volcano erupted for the first time in 400 years. Middle East tensions escalated as Israel raided a ship because it violated a maritime blockade and Iran’s first nuclear power plant launched in August.

The economic picture is gloomy, too. An out-of-control national deficit, high unemployment, and a foreclosure crisis have caused some to doubt optimistic pronouncements of an improving economy. Donations to charities such as churches and community agencies have fallen off. Aid workers cite “donor fatigue” in describing reduced giving to help victims of natural disasters around the world.

All in all, the baby new year has its work cut out for it.

With all the uncertainty, it’s no wonder there is a growing interest in end-times prophecy and Bible studies of the Book of Revelation. People want to know, What does the future hold?

A study of the end-times will give us a broad-brush picture of events, but day-to-day details remain out of reach. Still, God does not want His children to obsess about the future. He wants us to live in such a way that we will be prepared for the future by having dealt with our past. Unless the sin of our past has been paid for by the only sacrifice God deemed acceptable – His Son, Jesus Christ – the future will continue to be a source of fear.

No one knows the details of what the future holds.

But we do know who holds the future…and who holds us.

And that’s enough for me.

What helps you face the uncertainty of 2011?

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