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

Comments

  1. Desiree says

    Thanks for your encouraging words. Thanks, too, for talking about going to heaven in a way that makes me excited about seeing my Savior. That is good for my soul!

  2. Trillia says

    That was so encouraging to read about those evangelism testimonies! I don’t know what to expect this year (not that I had any idea before). It’s so comforting to be reminded of God’s sovereignty. He has been so good!! On a side note, my son loves dancing to Emmanuel, Emmanuel. I keep trying to get it on video. Happy New Year Altrogge’s!

  3. Mark Altrogge says

    Beth, that's right. Who knows? God has wonderful surprises for you that aren't even on the radar screen yet. I can't wait to see how God blesses you. Hey, Trillia! Thanks for your encouraging comments. When you get your son dancing on video, I'd love to see it. Happy New Year to you and your family too!Hey Ben! It's always great to hear from you. Amen – the only reason we can expect good is because God is good and he's promised to do only good to us! Sieze the day! Have you seen the movie Newsies? It's got a great song called "Sieze the Day".

  4. Youngblood says

    Praise the LORD Mark, 2008 is gonna be great. I can only expect next year to be good, because that’s what God has said in his word; before the beginning of the world he has prepared good things for us to do. It is only good because he is a good God, nothing more nothing less. Its that simple; i hope i can live in that simplicity next year (and the few days left of this year) I am all about seizing the day.
    Peace.
    Ben

  5. Anonymous says

    This is great Mark! I always enjoy and look forward to your posts. They are just wonderful! I always leave wanting to change.

  6. Mark Altrogge says

    Ben, You have to check out Newsies – At least for the song "Sieze the Day." It's a musical, but I think they pull it off. It's one of my favorites.Anonymous, thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

  7. Youngblood says

    i love musicals; one of my favorites is 'Calamity Jane' "Oh the windy city is mighty pretty, but they ain't got what we got!" I love them. A few years ago i played bass in a high school rendition of Guys and Dolls, and it got me onto musicals, like the South Pacific, and the don of musicals; The Wizard of OZ. So ill have to check your recommendation out.

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