A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

If you pay attention to what’s going on in the world, you know the world is in bad shape. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that tensions between nations all over the world could escalate into unbelievable horror. Last year observers listed thirteen major conflicts going on now between nations. Many of them seem to be unresolvable. So you have a right to ask me, “Why do you have the audacity to say the year 2024 can be a wonderful year for me?”

Why? Because the Eternal, Almighty God is still in control of His universe. If you are a child of God, listening to His voice, He promises you peace of heart in 2024 no matter what happens.
Jesus spent the very last night before His death with His disciples in an upper room By sunset the next day He, the very Son of God, would be dead, hanging on a cross. Yet that night Jesus said, positively and seemingly against all reason,

These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world. John 16:33

“But,” you could argue with validity, “what about new variants of covid lurking in the dark? What other virulent diseases like Covid will devastate us? What about the unbelievable surge of inflation we’re struggling with? And the volatile stock market? Nothing seems safe or sure. How can that add up to a wonderful new year?” How? Because the Lord Jesus gives only good gifts, only perfect gifts. If you are a child of God, whatever He permits in your life is filtered by His love, His wisdom, His power.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

“But,” you might argue, “you don’t understand my situation. I’m burdened for my children, growing up in this hostile culture. We’re barely making ends meet. I have broken relationships I’m not sure how to repair. I’m a Christian, but I haven’t always made good choices. How can 2024 possibly end well?”

How? By telling the Lord Jesus you are sorry, and you want Him to help you make the right choices in 2024. Saturate your mind with His Word. Ask His help as you determine to mend broken relationships. Gather your family together every day and commit them to God’s grace. There’s no magic to it; it is simply claiming every day the mercy and grace of the God who yearns over you and wants to bless you.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends!
By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each day. Lamentations 3:21-23 (nlt)