Facing a New Year

Rick Anderson

In Deuteronomy 33:25 we find these words: “Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be.” (NKJV)

Here we are starting a new year and we are wondering what the future holds. Having a new president on board makes the New Year even more interesting.
A lot of folks are excited about the prospects but also a little apprehensive. We’re excited about what the year 2017 might mean for us, and for the same reason we’re aware of possible letdowns and difficulty.

We live in truly amazing times. Today we send rocket ships and rovers to explore other planets. Because of the communications revolution, the world has truly become a global village. Through means of the Internet, you can click on a button and send an e-mail that will travel the ocean to a computer in a village in Africa in less than a few seconds.

The passage I mentioned at the beginning of this column was a prophecy given by Moses to the tribe of Asher just before his death. The tribe of Asher was being given land on the seacoast north of modern-day Haifa. This land was rich and mountainous. To these people who would be living in hilly terrain, God promises “iron sandals” for the roads they must travel.

The application is simple. Every new year is the beginning of a new journey. How will things work out? Will the road be easy or rough?

The text suggests we may have some rough road to travel before the year is over. If the road is easy, bedroom shoes will do just fine. If all we’re going to do in the new year is be a couch potato, we don’t need iron sandals. Bedroom shoes will do. But if we even suspect we are going to encounter some rough roads, we need good shoes. As coaches like to say, “No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory. No struggle, no growth.”

Not too many people go through a new year without encountering some rough roads. I doubt this year will be any different. Because of this God gives us some assuring promises because the road of life is difficult, steep and hard to climb. “Your sandals shall be iron and bronze” means the road ahead will be rocky and dangerous.

Aren’t you glad that God not only provides for us a means of salvation but also provides for our needs physically and otherwise. Notice in the last part of the verse there is a promise of great provision: “As your days, so shall your strength be.” What does that mean?

It means God will give each of His children strength for the days ahead. Second, God will give strength for every kind of day we may face. Some of those days will be filled with joy, light and happiness; others will be filled with discouragement, frustration and pain. Whichever comes about, there will be strength to meet it. Third, God will give strength for all our days until we draw our last breath.

What things occupy your mind and heart as we face a New Year? Deuteronomy 33:25 assures us that no matter what happens, God’s promises will always equal the days that are ahead.

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