Happy New Year, Southern California Conference family. 2022 is here. It's unbelievable that now we are living in another year.
At the same time, we are seeing some people that are concerned about if we are going to move from pandemic to endemic, which is going to impact our employment, our work. Will we continue working in hybrid or seeing the great resignation effect? All this also has been impacting the employment rate and inflation rate, impacting also finances.
One of the things also that we find is that about the supplies. We know that not all the things are here and some have concerns about whether we're going to have enough enough food, enough things for a home, enough energy, and more. Even relating to politics, we can find that although they have been making predictions about the shift in the Senate or shift in the House of Representatives, all this news—good, bad and in-between—has created uncertainty, anxiety, confusion, distrust, uneasiness, creating violence and bringing with it a lot of worries.
This word worries reminds me of what Matthew 6:33 says. Let's read together: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:31-34, NKJV).
My friends, this is a promise that we can find in God's Word as we begin this new year. Yes, we can hear voices from one side, voices from the other side. But Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Then the promise is that all the things that we need—what we need, not what we want—what we need shall be added on to us.
This also reminds me the experience of the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. They have a right to the hill of the Mount Sinai, and right there, where God gave the Ten Commandments—when he gave all their instructions about building the Tabernacle, about the Levites and the priest right after this incident with the Golden Calf, when this the children of Israel, they had a great apostasy when they forgot about God. Then, God, at one point, He said, "I'm not going to continue with you." Moses immediately, he said, "What?"
Let's read what it says in Exodus 33: Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight’” (Exodus 33:12, NKJV).
Moses was expecting somebody to be sent to him. He said, “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people” (Exodus 33:13, NKJV).
So then Moses said at one point, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15, NKJV).
What a statement! When he realized that God was not going to be with them because of their behavior, because of their rejection of this God who had provided everything for them, Moses, he took this seriously and said, “Hold it, hold it, hold it, Lord! If You're not coming with us, don't move us from here! We don't want to take one single step from here.”
So that is something, my friends, that as we are beginning this New Year, we need to be sure that the Lord is going with us, that His presence will go with us.
The Lord, when he saw this, He responded, and He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14, NKJV). What a promise.
As we begin this New Year, this is my encouraging message to you. The Lord is going to come with us—if we ask Him, “Lord, don't move me if You're not coming along with me.” My friends, may the Lord help us as we begin 2022 with the assurance that He will go with us. God bless us all.