Even from Everlasting to Everlasting, Thou art God!

2021 has been a year quite out of the ordinary in more ways than one. Many things we used to take for granted had been met with disappointment. The raging pandemic during the earlier part of the year from country to country, East and West worried people that the world was spinning dangerously towards an unknown future. Just as we thought that Covid-19 was finally under control, another nasty variant surfaced. And just when we could breathe a sigh of relief thinking that this variant had been addressed, another cropped up. Up to now, all over the world, new protocols have been issued in the hope of stemming its spread.

In the face of such uncertainties, as we end this year and move into the next, it is most heartening to be reminded from Psalm 90, believed to be the oldest Psalm in the Bible, Psalm 90:2b, that ‘Even from Everlasting to Everlasting, Thou art God!’  This is the most comforting affirmation that whatever is before us may seem to be in disarray, God has the whole world in His hands. With this in mind, we can press on into a whole new year with the assurance that the God who has led us thus far, will continue to lead us on into what lies ahead of us.

We cannot predict what 2022 holds for us. But here are three realities to keep in mind, thoughts gleaned from Psalm 90, which will keep us afloat whatever the year may bring forth.

Firstly, our God has a good track record.  In the words of the psalmist, verse 1 records, ‘Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.’

Here, the psalmist placed God as the One who had stood with them from generations past.  Reading through the Psalms, one will find that again and again, various psalmists reminisced how God had been the One who led them each step of the way – the encounters with Pharoah, the Red Sea, the wilderness journey, etc. Examples can be found in Psalms 106, 107. With such a solid track record, today we can look to Him also in confidence as our security, in our present generation, and for generations to come, should God tarry.

Secondly, no storm will be too big for those who know God. The psalmist said in verse 10, ‘The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.’

This verse in essence tells us that all of us have a limited lifespan on earth. It is simply not realistic hoping that 2022 will be a year of roses without thorns. The storms of life are part and parcel of living. Heartaches, disappointments, tears and sadness will be our lot. And what if life becomes so thorny that it threatens our very existence?  Thank God that even such prospects should not shake our faith in God.

Recently, my SG watched a teaching video by Stephen Armstrong (who was called Home to glory in January 2021)  related to the End Times. In it, he raised the prospect of the reality of death.  What struck me very strongly were the comments he made – ‘For me, hallelujah.’ What he meant was that instead of cowering from it, it ought to be welcomed with praise. He was not being sadistic. What he meant was that while death is emotionally painful, especially for loved ones, in the words of the Apostle Paul, we are not to ‘grieve as others do who have no hope.’ (1 Th 4:13).

Indeed, we need to remind ourselves that much as we may want to pray for a blessed 2022, the reality is that pandemic or not, departure from the earth is what we must all face. It is not a question of if but when it will happen. What is more important is to be assured that even when we are faced with the ultimate, call it what you like – the fiercest storm in life, if anything, it will bring us into the very bosom of God.  For Stephen Armstrong, it meant ‘Hallelujah’ for him. What about us?

Thirdly, we need to live wisely. The words of Moses in Ps 90:12 are perceptive – ‘So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.’ Surely, knowing that each of us has a limited lifespan, with the reality that eternity awaits us, it informs us that a heart of wisdom entails living in the present, and yet is governed by the future.

Yes indeed, we need to live responsibly for the here and now. The Bible says in 2Th 3:10, ‘If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.’  Responsible living calls for us to take care of our present needs, not just for ourselves but for our families as well.  But it is only through being wise that we do not neglect living in the light of future realities and ensuring that our families are well prepared in this area as well.

With the backdrop of these three truths, may we all venture into 2022 with faith in our God who has a good track record, looking to Him to journey with us through the storms of life and seeking to live insightfully for a bountiful year of grace ahead.

Blessed 2022

Elder Richard Lai