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What will 2008 bring?

(Scott Higgins is the evangelist with the Tualatin Valley Church. Currently the church is meeting in the Tualatin Valley Heritage Center located at 8700 S.W. Sweek Drive. Service is Sundays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, please call 503-536-5807 or visit www.tualatinvalleychurch.com.)

It is an exciting time for many because there is new hope and excitement in the starting of a new year. For this reason, I love this season. It always makes me wonder what will happen in the future.

Will there be peace? Many pray for world peace and for conflict in the world to resolve. It is truly a great goal, but so much of it isn't in our control.

In Mark 13:7 Jesus says, 'When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.' It seems that as long as man has free will, there will always be conflict and war. But peace can still come in 2008. Peace can come to individuals who obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. Paul describes the relationship in Christ Jesus this way in Philippians 4:7. 'And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'

First, Godly peace is not logical. It doesn't make sense to the world. Bad things are going on all around and yet the child of God can have peace! Remember, when Paul wrote those words, he was in a Roman prison! Yes, you can have peace in 2008 and it is not contingent on what is going on in the world. It can be had if you allow the peace of God to guard your heart and mind.

Second, Godly peace will guard you. If you work on your mind, controlling only the things you can (your behaviors, your attitude, your mind, etc.) God will guard you. He will help you control your mind. You will be able to have peace in whatever comes your way.

I would love to believe that only good will happen in 2008. I would love to see world peace and kindness shown to all mankind in 2008. I really don't believe that I am a negative person, but I am sure that bad will happen in 2008. I am sure that the world will face challenges. What I am also sure of is that the peace of God can be with you if you allow it. It can give you the courage to face difficulties. It can comfort you in times of crisis. I believe what Paul says in Romans 16:23 will happen. He says, 'The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.'

Happy New Year. Choose to let the God of peace enter your heart. Obey his teachings and we have nothing to fear. We will have peace!