Who could have foreseen 2020 unfolding the way it has? What a weird year and there are still 10 weeks to go!
A friend recently messaged me and asked “Well, did you get it right?” and linked to my post from December 2019 “My Predictions for 2020”.
I wondered what I had said—I knew the general gist—but how did it read after the 10 months we’ve had?!
Here are the ten predictions:
1. God’s word will still be surprisingly relevant to people’s lives; sadly many will continue to ignore it.
2. Humanity will not be wiped out by meteor collision, nuclear holocaust, hypersonic missiles, climate change, or anything else. The end of the world will only come with the return of Jesus Christ (not necessarily in 2020).
3. Christianity will not die out—the good news of the gospel will still be proclaimed across the world, and accepted by many.
4. Difficulties will come on personal, national and international fronts, and the wise will see them as wake-up calls from God.
5. No-one will find that they are too bad for forgiveness from Jesus, although many will think that they are too good to need it.
6. Pride will still lie at the root of every interpersonal, and international problem—and the solution will still be found in placing ourselves in a right perspective before God.
7. The perpetual search for significance and identity will continue, and fail—yet true and lasting significance, purpose, and identity will still be found in the eternal Jesus.
8. A fresh start and new strength will be available from Jesus, no matter what mess you’ve made of your life.
9. People will bemoan a loss of values; yet continue to deny the foundations such values are based on.
10. There will continue to be a famine of hope and shattered dreams in this world—yet Jesus will continue to offer hope, forgiveness, acceptance, love, and a future beyond our wildest dreams.
At one level, it’s hardly the most prescient list in the world, but three things strike me reading over it.
Firstly, when Christians anchor themselves in God’s word, they aren’t surprised by what happens. The whole point of the list is that it could apply to any year. The points stand because God’s word doesn’t change, human hearts haven’t changed, and the solution we need is always the same. So here is encouragement to be in the world but not sucked into the world. God’s word, and the Christian worldview, will give us stability in fluctuating times—either personal or global. Maybe we need this reminder to enable us to re-distance ourselves from the vortex of current events.
Secondly, the truths of scripture are always relevant. No-one could have foreseen 2020 unfolding the way it has. Yet when I read through the ten predictions, I am struck by the particular relevance of the themes mentioned to 2020. This year like few others for a decade or two has unsettled many—pandemically, politically, financially, racially, societally, and in many other ways. And the solution remains as it has always been—not in a simplistic ‘Jesus is the answer’ sort of way, but in the sheer breadth of impact that the gospel has. So as Christians face the temptation to change and adapt in order to be ‘relevant’, let’s have confidence in the eternal relevance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, as we live in this world, let us particularly call people to see the relevance of God's word (#1), to heed God's wake up call (#4), and in a famine of hope to find hope, not in politics or vaccines, but in Jesus Christ (#10).