What was God doing in 2016?

Tonight we welcomed back John Hanna to consider some of the devasting, staggering and 'random' events of 2016, and consider the question: what was God doing?

Turning to John 16, and reading it in full, our attention was drawn to the final verse of the chapter and to the final words "be of good cheer; I have overcome the world". The Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

So, what is 'the world' in this case? In the context we read that 'in the world ye shall have the tribulation'. The world is 'tribulation' for the Christian. It is a heavy weight, a hinderance and a challenge to our Christian walk. It is unpredicatable, it is uncertain and it is potentially destructive. Yet, with this knowledge, many people trust in the world for comfort and for contentment. But if we are trusting solely in Christ, we have sure foundation, a rock, with which to build our lives upon.

When we look around us at the world, our faith can be shaken. But we are reminded that in overcoming the world, Christ already reigns victorous over it. Whether challenged morally, physically or intellectually, we can be encouraged that these challenges will not and cannot last. They have already been defeated. God is not merely everlasting; He is eternal. God exists outside of time itself, from where He controls every event within time - from the actions of human beings to the pattern of the mighty waves and the division of a tiny cell. God is sovereign. God is in control.

What was God doing in 2016? We don't know. But we know that He is constantly working out His purposes. The world is unpredictable. It is no friend of the Christian. But Christ is the same, last year, this year and forever. What happens around us, to us, or in spite of us, does not matter. Christ remains in control.

What are you resting on for security? Your British citizenship, your European allegiance, your celebrity icons or your financial status? If 2016 has told us anything, it is that none of these things can be relied upon. Everything falls away. But Christ, He alone will never change. He alone is secure. He alone is eternal. What are you resting on? Put your faith in Christ, not just for your salvation, but for everything! Stand back and see what God has done.

He has overcome the world.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest - Matthew 11:28


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