Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021
Chan Gin Kai
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
So, the year we all dread has finally come to a close. What did we experience and what have we learnt?
We’ve called many things that went wrong in 2020 ‘unprecedented’. But the fact is, none of these mishaps and disasters were exactly new. They’ve just melded into a perfect storm, and conspired to assail us in a furious torrent.
We pray that the afflictions will not be as relentless as they were last year, but we know they will continue to exist… Viruses will mutate. Politics will be dirty. Typhoons will strike. The wicked will still abound. The world will remain unfair.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
None of these problems should surprise us. They’ve always been around and will continue after we’re long gone. But what we think and do matters.
Some will believe in liars. Some will see problems and do nothing. Some will profiteer from disasters.
But then there are also some who will smile in the face of adversity. And some will continue to be a light in our dark and weary world.
The fury of 2020 has shown us that we are strong enough to survive. We’ve learnt that as cliche as it sounds, hope always prevails. And because of that we try to keep our faith.
Faith is not naivety; it is not a loss of logic, a blindness to baits, or an ignorance of ironies. We can see the ploys and pitfalls, and still believe, because we have a God who quells the impossible.
We are born with bodies that will waste away, and we live in a world that hastens it. But we can keep our faith by following what Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 4, we “fix our eyes… on what is unseen”. We switch our focus from the physical to the spiritual, from our earthly problems to the eternal glory that awaits us. Our trials and tribulations become “light and momentary” when we compare them to the wonders that God has prepared for us in heaven.
We can run the race marked out for us this year and beyond by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”. (Hebrews 12:1-3) Jesus endured his enemies, he suffered the cross and scorned its shame. And he was raised to sit at the right hand of God’s throne. We need not lose heart because Jesus has set a perfect example for us to follow.
How can we better imitate Christ this year in our walk with God and our love for others?
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
What have we planned for this new year? What impact do we want to make in the world? How can we better reflect Christ?
I am confident 2021 will be better, not because we will have no problems, but because we’ve grown through a really tough year and can face the new year with greater courage. With the power of God, we can more than survive, we will triumph.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".