As the year comes to a close I search for appropriate ways to summarize the days and months that preceded and I ponder how to speak encouragingly about the year on the horizon.  I am sure that if you were given this assignment you would have a unique perspective and approach to appropriate final words and encouraging first words.

My angle is born out of the true story preserved for us in Daniel 3.  As you know the three Hebrew young men defied the order of Nebuchadnezzar to worship the colossal image of himself set up in the plain of Dura.  They resisted the orders of the Babylonian king to remain loyal to the God of Israel who loved them and made them His own possession.

What amazes me in this narrative is their unshakeable confidence in the living God. They know Him well.  They understand that He has the power to save and deliver.  They respond to the pressure of the situation believing that God will do right with their lives.  Are they heroes for trusting the Lord who loved them and made them His children?  I don’t think so.  The hero of the narrative, in my humble opinion, is the fourth person in the fire who abides with them and who delivers them unharmed from the life taking fire.  I understand this divine being to be a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps your review of 2012 includes some pains of not trusting the Lord, but perhaps not.  Maybe you are looking at 2013 with a measure of fear, maybe not.  In either case the encouragement of Daniel 3 is to trust the God who is with us, to be strong in the Lord who loves us and who will do right with the all the details of our lives.  May God help us to be strong in the Lord in 2013!