NEW YEAR’S TRUE BLESSINGS TO YOU
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
Year in Review
A lot has happened in 2022. Some unsettling world news popped up in my mind.
2/25/2022 – West Sumatra, Indonesia – magnitude 6.2
3/16/2022 – Fukushima, Japan – magnitude 7.4
6/22/2022 – Eastern Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan – magnitude 5.9
1/15/2022 – Kingdom of Tonga
An underwater volcano off Tonga, a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 172 islands, erupted and destroyed much of Tonga. Its large waves also triggered tsunami threats and evacuation orders in countries around the rim of the Pacific Ocean including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Chile and the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada. It was the largest volcano eruption in the 21st century.
11/27/2022 – Hawaii
Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, located in Hawaii started to erupt on November 27, 2022. Along with the large and long lava flow and hazardous smog, tsunami and high rates of earthquakes have also been detected.
2022 – Malaysia
Typhoon season floods in Malaysia left dozens dead and displaced more than 710,000 people.
Unprecedented floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1,700 people and injured thousands. It has impacted 33 million people, that is 15% of the country’s total population. Damages are estimated to exceed $14 billion.
Heavy floods have been affecting Thailand since the onset of the monsoon and the situation has worsened since last October.
Extreme floods and drought at the same time made the Yangtze River a divider for northern and southern China. Floods took over South Yangtze River while the north experienced terrible droughts.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in the largest war in Europe since World War II. It has caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, and Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II with an estimated 7 million people being displaced within five weeks of the invasion. Missiles, rockets, and airstrikes hit across Ukraine in addition to ground invasion from multiple directions. Dead bodies, mass destruction and horrible images can be seen across the country. In September, Russian President Putin even said that Russia is willing to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine continues its offensive operations.
It has been three years since the outbreak of COVID. We have had over 640 million cases of infection and a death toll of more than 6 million people across the globe. Thanks to the Lord! The virus is now under better control as we have had about 65% of the world’s population being vaccinated, and many countries have been able to resume more pre-pandemic activities following the easing of COVID restrictions.
Interestingly, these current world events are perfectly matching the descriptions about the last days in the Bible:
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:7-8)
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Luke 21: 25-26)
Although we are surrounded by these disasters, we know that God is in power and He is with us all the time. God provides us with strength and peace in the time of difficulties. The Bible says: “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:10-11)
Blessed Are Those Who Believe in God
The world might collapse; all things shall pass. God is everlasting. For those who have true wisdom know that God can bring us into eternity and free us from this chaotic world. Blessed are those who believe in God.
Blessed with freedom
We are Blessed with freedom from our sins when we trust in God. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world and by nature we have become rebellious against God. That’s why we suffer from our selfishness and hostility: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) Through Jesus Christ, we can be freed from our sins and be blessed by God’s grace.
Blessed with Ever-lasting Life
The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The assurance of salvation gives us no more fear about death. Also, this world is only our temporary dwelling. God has prepared a home in heaven for us. As we seek to understand and accept Jesus, we will be welcomed into the eternal home in heaven enjoying ever-lasting life with God.
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2)
Blessed to Be God’s Children
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) Can you imagine the blessings you may have for God to be your Heavenly Father who created the universe and is omniscient, omnipotent, and eternal?
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 16) Whenever we are in need, we can always come to our almighty Heavenly Father. God gives us the Holy Spirit who always comforts, supports, and strengthens us, besides protecting us from going astray from Him.
Blessed to Be a New Person
When we believe in God, we are made new: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) We no longer live a life of futility. (Ephesians 4:17-18) We are “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)
We are filled with the holiness of God. Our inner beings will be renewed though our appearance might make no difference.
Gradually we will bear the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22) To people’s surprise, our new life is a reflection of God’s goodness in us.
I sincerely wish that you will know Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal savior, truly believe in God and receive the abundance of His blessings – a true new life in the new year and onward!
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