December 31, 2020
As we end the year 2020, I wanted to take a few moments to encourage you to have hope and expectation in 2021. None of us could have imagined on January 1, 2020, the year we are finishing today. From a virus to government shutdowns, the year unfolded with many new challenges and concerns. There is a push like never before to bring socialism into our society as many seek to undermine the democracy and republic of the United States of America. The threat of anti-Semitism looms over us as we see this vile attack on Jewish people at pre-Holocaust levels. When I recount this (and there is so much more I could say about what is happening in our society today), it could make one feel hopeless and despair. BUT G-D…
I want to remind us all that G-d is still sitting on the throne. Through all that has happened in 2020, He never abdicated His authority. While we may not fully understand all the twists and turns this past year took, I can tell you that Adonai never left us. Through the pain and uncertainty, He remained our Rock and Stronghold. He is the Anchor of our souls who lovingly girds us with His strong right arm of victory.
While men may plan evil and devise plans to control our lives, G-d has plans to forward His kingdom over all the earth through people like you and me. Our focus must always be on Adonai. When we take our eyes off Him, like Kefa, we begin to sink in the stormy seas of life. However, when my hope is in Adonai and Him alone, there is a peace that passes understanding that captivates my heart, and I have confidence in my future in Him. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40.31 (my father’s favorite verse) gives us this incredible promise of G-d to encourage us as we enter into 2021.
But those who wait (hope) for Adonai’s grace will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their race without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up.
G-d promises you and me strength beyond our human capabilities. This supernatural strength of Adonai is what enables us to rise above every situation thrown our way, to soar like an eagle over the storms of life. The word renew actually means exchange. We are exchanging our human strength for His supernatural strength. It gives us the ability to run and not get tired and to persevere through every circumstance in which we find ourselves. I want to encourage you – do not lose hope and do not give up. Fix your eyes on Yeshua. Put your hope in Adonai – wait on Him with great expectation. The Jewish people Isaiah addressed with this promise were facing hopelessness. In fact, they even felt G-d had given up on them. They could see no way back to their beloved homeland and no way out of Babylonian captivity. They felt great despair and discouragement. BUT G-D… He speaks clearly through the prophet declaring His commitment to the Jewish people. Read verses 28 – 29:
28 Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, Adonai, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow tired or weary? His understanding cannot be fathomed.
29 He invigorates the exhausted, He gives strength to the powerless.
G-d is not tired or weary. He is not defeated by anything going on in our world today. One commentary shared, “The victories of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia made it look as though the false gods of the Gentiles were stronger than the God of Israel, but Isaiah reminded the people of the greatness of Adonai. When you behold the greatness of God, then you will see everything else in life in its proper perspective.”
Look to G-d. Renew your hope and expectation in Him. Do not look at the circumstances you find yourself in; focus on the Almighty G-d you serve and who loves you tremendously. Isaiah encourages us that Adonai is ready to invigorate us – giving us strength that we never thought we could have.
2020 is behind us, and we now face 2021. My prayer for you is that you will receive the power and strength Adonai wants to impart to you for this new year. I pray that expectation will rise in your heart as your partner with G-d to see His kingdom go forward in a greater anointing in 2021. May it be a year of a great revival and awakening as the body of Messiah centers our focus on G-d, continuing to make Him the priority of our lives. May you personally experience the strength of Adonai as you run the race set before you exchanging your strength for His supernatural strength. May we all mount up with the wings of eagles soaring above the challenges and difficulties of life to that place He has prepared for us.
Rabbi Carol Calise