A New Year without Fear
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Hebrews 2:1
Our lives are like an ocean…a trackless ocean with winds, currents and waves. During our time on earth, we’ll meet ships we never knew were on that ocean and we'll have all kinds of opportunities, heartaches, tears and fears as we sail into a new year on an uncharted sea.
Scholars tell us Hebrews 2:1 refers to the sea—the writer is using a nautical term. He must have spent time at sea, because the phrase “giving more earnest heed” and the word “slip” refer to bringing a ship into the harbor, a difficult and sometimes dangerous task. A ship never just “drifts” into the harbor. The most skillful part of being a sea pilot is bringing the ship safely into harbor. "Let them slip" literally means drift away. You must be careful when you enter a harbor that you don't end up on the rocks or drift past the harbor.
The Danger of Drifting
The worst thing that could happen to us this year is that we just drift through it—live an aimless life—letting this year “happen” to us rather than charting a course and getting into God's appointed harbor. The winds of worldliness, the tides of circumstance, and the currents of the old nature are determined to cause you to drift.
And you will drift unless you decide not to drift. You must have an anchor. You need a fixed direction. It’s important, because drifting is one of the easiest things in the world to do. And the next easiest is to fear.
The Lord Will Be My Helper—I Will Not Fear
Back in 1929 when the stock market crashed, there were men who literally jumped out of skyscrapers, committing suicide. Why? Because the things they were trying to satisfy their heart with, they lost. That's where their security was. We must have our security, sufficiency and satisfaction in something that can't be tampered with—not just in these uncertain times, but in every time.
I heard of some men years ago who were on a leaky old ship in the middle of a rough and stormy sea, fearful for their lives. They didn't know whether they were going to sink or not. So one of them went to see the captain and said, "Captain, are we safe?" He answered, "Well, I'll put it to you this way. The boilers on this ship are very weak and may explode at any moment. Also, the ship is very old and she's taking on water. To be honest with you, we may have an explosion or we may sink. We may go up or we may go down. But,” he continued, “at any rate, we’re going on.”
And that's the way we are, as we face this new year. Jesus may come—we may go up. We may die—we’ll go down and then go up. But at any rate, we’re going on...even though we don't know what it's going to bring.
But we do know Who is coming alongside us to walk through it with us. “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5). This passage in Hebrews goes on to say, “So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (v. 6).
In spite of what we hear daily in the news and read in headlines, face this new year by squaring your shoulders, lifting your head, and saying “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.”
The Christians in the book of Hebrews faced heartaches and trials. They had opposition from family, friends and foes alike. They faced mockery and brutality. Yet they could boldly say, “The Lord is my helper." If you are going to face this year with steadfast resolve, you must find your contentment, your companionship, and your confidence in Christ. Then you'll find your comfort in Christ, from whence you may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
I'm not telling you that life is going to be all honey and no bees. No. This coming year may be difficult for you. But you can stand upon the promises of the Word of God.
Jesus Meets Our Heart’s Deepest Need
When he was in prison, Paul wrote, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere, and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:11-12).
Paul was a man who could face the future. And his was an uncertain one—from one jail to the next, under the threat of a possible death sentence in the Roman Empire. But he said, “I've learned to be content.”
The word “content” literally means “self-contained.” Our temptation today is to run about wringing our hands—the opposite of content, contained, and Spirit-controlled.
Then in the very next verse he says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That literally means, “I can do all things through Christ who is pouring His life into me.” Throughout 2014, we need to learn to live a life of contentment, the contentment of His provision—Christ Himself. The deepest need of our hearts can be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Security Is In the Lord Jesus Christ
As we face the coming year, if the stock market goes down, what we have in Jesus Christ—eternal security, salvation, a relationship with the King of kings— is worth multiplied billions and more. Today some of you find that you are abased. You’re saying, “I can hardly make it until the next paycheck.” Some of you are abounding. You have more than you ever thought or dreamed you’d have. If you have that, I’m happy for you. See it as a gift from God and enjoy it, for the Bible says, “God takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servants.” It is the Lord who gives you the ability to get wealth. Thank God for it.
But from his prison cell Paul says, “In Christ, I have a self-contained life. All that I need is in the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t have to go outside of Him for contentment.”
If you have Jesus, friend, you have something wonderful. You are rich, regardless of what you may or may not have in the bank.
Starting from That Secure Position
How will you best face the future and have your heart’s deepest need met?
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
If you’re not saved, your first step in this new year must be giving your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. If I had a thousand lives to live, I’d give Him every one of them. I really would.
I came to Jesus Christ as a teen. If I had understood it sooner, I would have come sooner. I don’t care how young you are or how old you are, if you are reading this, you can be saved. I don’t care how good you are or how bad you are, there’s no one so good they don’t need to be saved and no one so bad they can’t be saved.
The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” That doesn’t mean mere intellectual belief or just accepting some facts about Him. It means trust. You can believe an airplane can fly; you don’t trust it until you get on it. If you come to Jesus, I promise you, on the authority of the Word of God, He will save you instantly. He will be with you continually. He will keep your eternally.
The greatest thing you could do, if you have not done it yet, would be to give your heart to Jesus Christ. This would be the beginning of a brand new life. This can be the first day of an eternal life.
Commit your life to Jesus. Believe on Him. Trust Him and a transformation will take place. He will save you. He will satisfy you. He will secure you if you trust Him.
We don't know what the coming year will bring—sickness, heartache, or trouble. But I do know that you can boldly say, “The Lord will be my helper. I will not fear what man shall do to me.” Find your contentment, your companionship, and your confidence in Jesus. In Him you will find your comfort and your courage.