As we all look forward to 2011 I am amazed at how many people assume it will be “better” than or at least “as good” as 2010. How do we know? The truth of course is that we don’t – we hope it will.
The real issue is defining what makes a “good” year and what makes a “bad” year and whose perspective we are taking into account when we make such definitions.
If we define a good year by everything going the way we want it to go so that we are happy then it is possible to make a biblical (God) case that such a year is a “bad” year. Why? Because it could never be possible for us to know how any year should work out the best – only God can do that. And very often God uses what we call a “bad” year to give us His best and that is make us more like Jesus, our suffering Savior (See Romans 8: 28 – 29), who had three rather “bad” years in the final years of His life to achieve for us His best and that is salvation.
And once we embrace that salvation (a relationship with Jesus) then every year is a good year because every year, no matter what goes on, is God working for our good and His glory even if it doesn’t seem like that to us with our finite minds. That is the point of the story of Joseph in Genesis, it is the story of the life of Paul in Acts, it is the explicit teaching of James in James 1: 2 – 5.
Having said that, we are all frail human beings (even those who are saved) and God knows and accepts that we will struggle to see things that way – have a look at Psalm 103: 10 + 13 + 14. But we should continue to encourage each other to see things this way or we will inflict ourselves with anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and all sorts of things that we could start getting the better of if we work at seeing every year from a biblical (God) perspective.