By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

2024 is here!

It started with a bang. Yes, there were lots of fireworks going off all across the area. The thundering booms and flashes of light announced the new year. But that is not the bang that I was thinking about.

On the first day of the year there was a major earthquake in Japan killing people and causing many more to be homeless. A potential terrorist attack was thwarted at a concert venue when a car in flames crashed into another, sadly killing several but not getting to where thousands more were. A homeless man was shot in Seattle. The war in Ukraine was marked with a major drone attack. More targets were bombed in Gaza. North Korea continues to threaten war.

The list could go on and on, and it is only the first day of the year.

I heard a pastor in his end-of-year sermon talk about the signs of the times and the coming year. One part of his sermon stated that we don’t know what will happen in 2024, but we do know that Jesus still loves us, and His promise that I am coming again still stands.

There will no doubt be terrible, sad and distressing things that will happen this year. You may face major stress. You may celebrate wonderful joy. You may experience all the highs and lows of life all in the next 12 months. The one constant that you can have in your life is that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and that He is coming again to put an end to the pain we see in the world.

As you begin this year, begin with the constant assurance that Jesus is your Lord.

You also can walk daily with God. Jesus gave instruction to the disciples for what to do when He was gone. John 16:7 states that it was an advantage for Him to return to heaven because a Helper would come. He was talking about the Holy Spirit being in our lives each day to give us the strength to make it through whatever that day brings. Luke 11 tells us 10 different times to ask and keep on asking for the Holy Spirit in our lives and that if we ask, we will receive.

This year, start with a prayer to have the Holy Spirit in your life and have that be a daily prayer so that whatever 2024 brings you will be walking with Jesus each and every day.