You have perhaps heard the expression, “we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future?” It’s not a Bible passage, but it certainly tells a Bible truth. It also expresses a thought that is very fitting as we begin a new year. Who knows what 2015 holds for us – as individuals, as families, as a congregation, as a synod, as a nation? Who knows what the future holds for any and all of God’s creation?

What blessings will we enjoy? What opportunities will come our way? What changes will take place in our lives? We can hope and we can pray. We can anticipate and work toward something, but we don’t know what the future holds. Will some hardship or heartache intrude and disrupt our plans? Will some danger threaten us physically and/or spiritually? Will 2015 be a year to remember or a time to forget? We just don’t know.

We know all about the old year gone by. We can look back and find many reasons to say “thank God!” Memories, happy and sad, good and bad, exciting and ho-hum, and everything in between, have been added to those of previous years. Some are faded, others stand out, but the past is the past and we know about that. The new year ahead could very likely be more of the same, then again, we just don’t know, do we?

Often you hear someone say, “Only God knows.” That’s right, only God does know. That we know for sure. We can and do know who holds the future. The Holy Spirit guided the psalm writer to confess to the Lord, “My times are in your hand”. That’s a statement of fact. More than that, it is a confession of faith. The same Spirit of God inspired the Apostle Paul to pen this: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how shall he not along with him graciously give us all things?”  Whatever else may or may not happen in 2015, nothing will change what God has already done for us in Christ. The life Jesus lived in our place to do God’s will; the death he died to atone for our sins and reconcile us to God - that’s a done deal, a sure thing, a future fact. Whatever else may happen is intended to only strengthen our faith, to draw us closer to him, and to give us even more reason to thank and praise, serve and obey him.

Your pastor can’t tell you any more about the future than what you already know. But I can remind you that your almighty and loving God does hold the future. I can tell you that the more you worship him and the better you get to know him through his Word and sacraments, the more blessed you will be and the better prepared you will be for anything that 2015 has to offer. But don’t take my word on that; trust him who holds your future.

“Our God, our help in ages past, (is) our hope for years to come!”