What To Do About Past Shame, Present Insecurity, And Fear Of The Future?

Text: Romans 8:31-39

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

This time of year brings about peculiar feelings for all of us.  On the one hand, we rejoice for the past year of blessings and find a sense of hope with the new beginnings of a new year.  On the other hand, we experience regret and maybe frustration for the past year, while also experiencing fear over the new beginnings of the New Year.

You see, time has a strange aspect to it that brings about shame and fear.

For example, our past is tainted with sin.  We all have those memories of things that we should not have done in 2018 – those memories of things that we should not have said.  And even though time has gone by, these memories of the last year stick with us.  These memories of the last year creep into our minds and haunt us with shame. 

And the future?  Even though there is a sense of optimism for the future, this next year is still unknown.  And because 2019 is unknown, we worry about what we will encounter in the days that lie ahead – what may happen to us and our loved ones in the days to come.  Will anybody die in 2019?  Will I get cancer in 2019?  Will the stock market crash?  Will I lose my job?  Will I even make it to the end of the year?  Indeed, we experience fear when considering the future.

And so, you and I have but to live in the present.

Now, you would think that the present is the safest place to be; however, the present also has its share of dangers, joys, possibilities, and temptations.  At the present moment, we all face the problem of our sinful nature, the vanity of the world’s ideas, and the attacks of the devil.  The present does not grant us security but insecurity. 

Dear friends, all around us and at all times we face difficulties.  The past haunts us with shame.  The future scares us.  And the present?  Well, it isn’t safe either.  And as mentioned before, the coming of a new year has a way of making us think of the past, present, and future.  While we may celebrate the New Year with countdowns, fireworks, streamers, and parties; deep down, shame, fear, and insecurity remain for the past, present, and future show no mercy.   

What do we make of all of this, though?

Well, for you, as a Christian, the question that may arise this New Year is this: is there any force, any event, any tragedy, or anything so strong in this coming year that can make you so miserable that Christ will no longer love you?  In 2019 is there anything that can make the love of Christ to be ineffective, so that you will lose your connection with Him?  Does 2019 have any troubling surprises that can snatch you out of Christ’s hands, thus destroying your faith and hope, resulting in your eternal condemnation?

The Apostle Paul in our Epistle Reading says, “No!”  There is nothing in your past, present, or future that will be able to drive a wedge between you and Christ’s love!  There is no way!  Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture can faze this connection with Christ.  Nothing!  Nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable, or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between you and the Lord’s love. 

And so, you can know that whatever the past was and whatever the future brings that you will be continually embraced, forgiven, and claimed by your Lord.  Hear this evening, once again, that God did not hesitate to put everything on the line ‘for you’ by sending His own Son into the flesh, to embrace our sinful condition and expose Himself to the worst of our lives.  

And so, we acknowledge that this life is very real and it can be very cruel.  We freely acknowledge that while there were many blessings of 2018 that there were also many hardships, trials, and sins.  And for 2019?  We know that this next year will also bring about many real hardships, trials, and sins.  And as cruel as these situations will be in 2019, we know from our Epistle Reading that nothing in 2019 will have the power to pull us away from the Gospel – the love, forgiveness, and life of Christ. 

And for the present day, for you and me right here and right now?  Well, we are not given shame or the spirit of fear, for we belong to Christ.  On the heels of 2018 and on the beginning of 2019, hear this: your sinful past, your sins of the present day, and your future sins are hidden in Jesus’nail-marked hands.  You are forever buried in His wounds.  Shame – gone.  Fear – no more.  Just Jesus, who is for you – Jesus who was with you through the ups and downs of 2018, and will be with you through 2019 and to the end of time. 

Happy New Year blessed Baptized Saints!  In the name of Jesus: Amen.  

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean