In John 16:33 (New International Version) Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This world is full of bad things, but Jesus has overcome all those bad things! Let’s do a quick comparison of the bad and the good from the events of 2009. First, the bad.
1. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford refuses federal stimulus money, then jets off to Argentina to see his mistress for five days without telling anyone.
2. Republican congressman Joe Wilson shouts “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a health care speech.
3. Police investigate whether swimmer Michael Phelps smoked marijuana at a Columbia party.
4. Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, crashes his SUV outside his house, then flees and refuses to talk to police about it. Later, it is discovered that Tiger has committed massive infidelity against his wife and family, having at least a dozen, and probably more like 20 mistresses (some paid, some not).
5. Michael Jackson dies, leaving a trail of debt and suspicion over his drug use and fondness for little boys.
6. U.S. unemployment tops 10%, with real unemployment nearing 18-20% (counting those whose unemployment benefits ran out in 2009, but could not find work or were underemployed).
I ask you, what do all these things have in common? You got it – Sin! Human nature, whatever you want to call it. We are all, sinful at heart. Left to ourselves, we will serve only ourselves and our own appetites for lust, power and money.
So, what are some good things that happened this past year?
1. Susan Boyle becomes the first “instant” famous person in the world, leading to a second place finish in “Britain’s Got Talent” and a smashing success for her debut album “I Dreamed a Dream” running 115 days (as of today) on Amazon’s Music Bestseller list, and at least 7 weeks atop that chart!
2. The United States has the first African American President — President Barack Obama — sworn in January 20, 2009.
3. After a very scary start, the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus infects millions of people, but winds up having a lethality rate less than ordinary influenza.
4. The “Miracle on the Hudson” where, following a bird strike that took out both engines, for the very first time, a commercial airline pilot had to ditch his aircraft. All 155 passengers on board were rescued safely, with some suffering from minor cuts and injuries, and some from hypothermia. Passengers and crew were rescued by local ferries, New York police boats and divers, who took them to rescue stations on the New York and New Jersey banks of the river. Pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger – “Sully” to his friends – was hailed as a hero by passengers and bystanders alike, not least for managing to ditch the plane in the freezing waters of the Hudson, rather than crash-landing into the city.
5. Jaycee Dugard is discovered alive after having been abducted as a child 18 years prior! The kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard took place on June 10, 1991. She was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. Jaycee was 11 at the time of her abduction and on August 26, 2009, she appeared in the office of her alleged kidnapper’s parole officer in California.
6. On the 40th anniversary of Man’s landing on the moon (July 20th, 1969) NASA provides photos to the world proving those landings actually took place, finally silencing the moon landing conspiracy theorists for good. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) imaged the various Apollo landing sites on the surface of the moon with sufficient resolution to see the descent stages of the lunar modules, scientific instruments, and foot trails made by the astronauts.
7. Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that Jesus has not returned to earth – yet.
Jesus, that is God The Father, is giving humanity, that’s each and every one of us, time to make the decision to follow Him. From 2 Peter 3:9 (New International Version): “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Make no mistake, Jesus is coming back to judge the living and the dead (the quick and the dead in some translations). The Mayan calendar may only go up to 2012, but none of us knows the time when Jesus will be returning. Change your life today – repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior while there is yet time. Give your life to Him, and live it to the fullest! Have life everlasting – it is within reach!