Still in Control – This Year

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The beginning of 2020 doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago. If you concentrate and listen closely, you might still hear the faint whisper of Barbara Walters saying, “Welcome to 2020.” Does it seem that way for you? Where were you on January 1st, 2020?

I remember the start of last year well. I was living with my in-laws last January 1st because our house was being repaired from a pretty significant electrical issue. I remember checking the 10-day forecast each day, praying the temperatures wouldn’t dip below the freezing line of 32°. I had no control over the weather and little control over much of the overall situation. It was not a great feeling. Little did I know that issue with our house would pale in comparison to what was ahead.

As 2021 begins, I am aware that this year, like last, will go by quickly. I am also mindful that this year will bring all kinds of unexpected challenges that I can’t imagine or see today. If I am not careful, these two thoughts can be a little overwhelming. With time seemingly moving faster than ever, it is easy to start believing the lie that I don’t have time to accomplish anything of significance this year. My day-to-day tasks consume too much of my time and energy. Secondly, it can be frightening not knowing what is around the corner. Often when we don’t know, we worry that the worst is coming and believe there is nothing we can do about it. We want to have more control than this.

Thankfully, we have a God that is in control of all things. When time is seemingly slipping away, God is there. He is at work ready to connect with us and help us grow in every moment of our daily lives, even in the mundane, seemingly insignificant ones. When we can’t see what’s ahead, we can find confidence knowing nothing surprises God. He knows what 2021 has in store and invites you to trust him through it all.

At the end of this past weekend service, we heard a song that started with the question, “How can I say it is well? When my voice can barely speak?

How can I sing You a song In the midst of suffering?” The answer to the question is the title of the song—“Still in Control.” The lyrics can be a prayer and reminder for us to carry with us into 2021. 

Teach my soul to sing
My God is still in control
And still He reigns on His throne
Though mountains may tremble and sea billows roll
I’ll sing it is well with my soul
My God is still in control
You have not left me alone
Though the world has let me down
All of my sorrow and pain
I will trade it for a crown
Thank You for staying with me
When the night was closing in
Whatever my lot, You are still God
I will sing again
My God is still in control

Songwriters: Mack Brock / Jesse Reeves / Ricky Jackson / Ran Jackson

What do you remember about last year’s New Year’s Day?

In what ways did last year challenge your faith in God’s control?

How did you take steps of trust this past year?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how prepared are you for 2021? Explain your answer.

Next Steps:
Write down the lyrics to this song, and place them somewhere  you will regularly see them, maybe on your bathroom mirror or in your kitchen. Thank God that he cares about you and is in control of everything that will happen in 2021.

Next to it, write down Philippians 4:6-7 and give your worries to God.

Philippians 4:6-7
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Dear God. Thank you for this new year. Not just because it means 2020 is over, but because it has the potential to mark a new beginning. As this year starts, I want to declare my trust in you. I know that no matter what 2021 has in store, you are in control. Guide me and help me see every blessing and challenge to come as an opportunity to know you more. God, this year, I will sing that you are still in control, reigning on your throne. Amen.

This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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1 reply
  1. C.C. Eichelberger
    C.C. Eichelberger says:

    Ben Bockert, you do a great job with the livingitout team writers, and when you and your team write, your content is filled with so much spiritual depth that it inspires me to grow closer to God! I thank God for you and the LIO team do! Great job last year! Happy NewYear! 🙂

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