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Lyle Plocher noted that as the US elected a new President, Israel, the West and the entire world are facing a series of challenges but since everything is in the hands of God, people should not be discouraged from setting lofty goals and aspirations for this coming year.

Photo Credit: IDF Spokespersons Unit

The practice of making an annual New Year’s Resolution is very prevalent in our modern day world.  Variations of this practice date back thousands of years.  The modern day versions usually take the form of resolving to do things like exercise more or lose weight, or be a better person or get out of debt and so on.  Some Resolutions take the form of reaching financial or educational or career specific goals.  One thing is sure as we all approach 2017, the challenges we all face this coming year are huge and in many ways unprecedented.  Technology is changing rapidly and the global economic and political situation is fragile to say the least.  Terrorism and many forms of illogical and selfish behavior are constantly manifesting in new and more barbaric ways.  The challenges in 2017 are great for everyone living on planet earth.

In 2017, the US will have a new President, Israel is facing the fallout of an incredibly hypocritical and far reaching UN Resolution, the Western World is facing ongoing terrorism and many nations of the world are having to cope with high unemployment, food shortages and even civil war, tragically wiping out the lives of innocent people.  The challenges have never been greater for individuals and countries.

There is a story in the Bible that recounts a situation faced by the Israelites as they were on the verge of entering into the promised land of Canaan. Moses sent out 12 spies to search out the land to see what lied ahead for the Israelites.  When the 12 spies returned and gave their report, they were all in agreement that the land was filled with “milk and honey” but it was also inhabited by Giants, the sons of Anak, who worshipped false gods.  The conclusion drawn by 10 of the spies is recorded in Numbers 13:33.  The 10 said: “We were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight.”  The other 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, were allowed by God to eventually go in and possess the promised land, defeating the Giants.  Because Joshua and Caleb knew they were following God’s will, they moved forward and overcame what looked like insurmountable odds.    

The message to all of us in this story as we look ahead to 2017 is this:  If we know we are in God’s hands, we should not be discouraged or derailed from setting lofty goals and we should anticipate success in spite of the uncertainty and tremendous challenges we will face this coming year.  2017 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting, eventful and challenging year that many of us have faced.  Let’s not let a “grasshopper mentality” rob us of our joy, peace of mind and accomplishments in this coming year!

Wishing you all the best in 2017!