You May be Surprised

Who knows what surprises a year may hold?

I just reviewed my journals from this past year and I could never have imagined some of the things God did in my life in 2007. At the end of 2006 I had no inkling of the blessings and challenges 2007 would hold for me. Here are a few of the surprises God sprang on me:

My first grandchild, Charis was born on September 4. I sure didn’t expect to become a grandpa this past year! This would have been blessing enough, but God did more:

Sovereign Grace Music unexpectedly blessed my son Stephen and me by having us record a CD of our songs. I suppose Sovereign Grace figured that if Bob Dylan could make it with his voice, maybe there was hope for me.

God connected me with a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years. My friend told me he’d been battling cancer and had begun reading the Bible. This year he gave his life to the Lord and is now running hard after Christ. I had the privilege of baptizing him earlier this month.

God gave me the opportunity to pray with the brother of one of our secretaries to receive the Lord on his deathbed.

The Lord had me meet a graduate student from Japan in a local coffeeshop. He knew little about Christ, but was interested in meeting weekly to read through the gospel of John together. We’ve met 4 times so far.

These are just a few ways God surprised me in 2007. There were also some unexpected sad and painful trials too. But in both sunshine and rain, God has been faithful and good to me.

Who knows what a year may hold? God does.

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ?My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,? (Isaiah 46:9-10)

God knows the end from the beginning. From ancient times he knew what he would accomplish in 2007. He knows what he has in store for his children this coming year. Nothing surprises him, for he is working all of history and all the details of our lives for his glory. God will use both blessings and trials to make us more like Christ.

No one can thwart God’s good plans for us. No one can throw our Heavenly Father a curve ball. His counsel will stand and he will accomplish all he has purposed.

Christ has many wonderful surprises in store for us. He has bags and bags of grace he’s waiting to lavish upon us. We should look forward to 2008 with anticipation. If God wills and we live, we have another year to get to know Christ more, to taste and see his goodness. Another year to serve, bless, and encourage others. Another year to seek to advance the gospel. Another year to bear fruit and become more like Christ.

And should this be the year the Lord calls us home, what could be better than being with him and seeing him face to face?

Praise God who holds 2008 in his hands!

photo by Beth Altrogge

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.