The year 1962 is almost history, and we see in retrospect many events and happenings, both pleasant and unpleasant, that have affected us. The passing year had different meanings for various people. For some it meant graduation, a new job, or attending college; for others it meant taking up residency in a different part of the country, fulfilling armed services duty, or marriage. Still others may have been bereaved by the loss of a relative or friend.
The world situation certainly did not improve. The leading world powers stood trembling at the brink of war, each fearing what the other might do. In our own country after the excitement of the United States’ first orbital flights diminished, reverberations of excitement were heard from the South. They were sounds of a different nature, however – sounds of bitter racial disruptions and violence. Stock market speculators became extremely anxious as their investments rapidly declined to their lowest ebb in over thirty years.
In 1962 the Roman Catholic Church held what it considered to be its most important ecumenical council in its history, and various church councils discussed unification with other denominations.
During the past year it pleased the Lord to take from us Rev. G. M. Ophoff, professor in our Protestant Reformed Seminary. In 1962, also, two of our ministers who were regularly contributing editors of the Beacon Lights considered the truth that God has entrusted to us too insignificant to uphold and maintain. So they left.
Yes, 1962 was full of changes. The state of affairs certainly did not improve in 1962, and one would be inclined to fear what 1963 will bring in the light of 1962’s history. But the child of God has no reason to fear for he has an unchangeable God to cling to. God reassures us of this in Mal. 3:6a, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” We have no reason to become alarmed by the happenings around us or by what the forces of evil might do to us for He that pilots our ship also controls the sea about us. What a comfort!
At the beginning of 1962 many people made New Year’s resolutions for a better course of life. I think quite a few people who made New Year’s resolutions would not be able to remember off hand that their plans did not materialize because of certain incidents which came up and on which they had not counted. For the most part, these New Year’s resolutions are foolish. Man forms a purpose and sets out to accomplish it on his own strength and ability, and they are intended selfishly for his own good.
We, as Christians, should have a resolution, but not one that changes from year to year. Our resolution is, or should be, one that is permanent. It should not be made at the beginning of the new year, but every day. This resolution is to love the Lord, our God, with all our being and to resist that which is evil. This is not such an easy resolution to keep, and it would be futile to make such a resolution on our own strength. Instead, we must ask God every day for grace that we might love Him, serve Him, and walk in His ways.
Joshua tells us of his resolution in Joshua 24:15b, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Although God would not permit him to build the temple, we learn in Ps. 132 that David made it his purpose to build a house for the Lord and that he would not rest until he had done so. He made it his chief concern to be busy in the work of the Lord. Barnabas, while in Antioch, exhorted the people “that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
What does the future hold for us? We do not know, but we know Who holds the future. We may have to go through suffering and trials, but we are given this precious promise in Jas. 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”