Sober Optimism as a New Year Begins

First the sober part.

I don’t claim any special insight (natural or spiritual) into the future but I strongly suspect we’re in for a truly wild ride this year. After all, we’re only three days into 2009 and we already have a shooting war going in the Middle East with Israeli tanks rolling in Gaza.

Not to be Mr. buzz kill or an alarmist, but here’s what I’m anticipating for the coming year based upon my extensive reading and my expanding gut:

Economy–More shocks and convulsions. Lot’s of volatility in the markets and at some point, a whipsaw out of our current deflationary recession into inflation with a vengeance. Why? Check out this graph of the money supply courtesy of the Federal Reserve. Or this one.

There will be increasing use of the D-word (Depression).And  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few riots in some urban areas in which both unemployment and a union-legacy sense of entitlement are running high.

Russia–will continue its ongoing policy of creating headaches and hazards for the United States at every possible point around the world. And they will deliver that “international crisis” Joe Biden warned about a few months ago.

China–is headed for some ugly economic territory and they are already experiencing unrest among the masses.

Iran–has been fighting a proxy war against Israel with Hamas as the proxy — and Israel has finally decided to fight back. Israel will crush Hamas (with Fatah Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan and the Saudis silently cheering) and then it will turn its attention directly to Iran (again with the Sunni Arab powers publically condemning while quietly approving and even assisting.)

Of course, the potential for all of the above has the survivalists, conspiratorialists, apocolypticists and anti-semites worked into a frothy lather.

So let me be clear that I do not expect any of the following in the next 12 to 24 months: martial law, a bird flu pandemic, a barter economy with food and gold, the break up of the United States, the rise of our Jewish overlords, the rise of our Bilderberger overlords, the rise of our Raelian overlords, or the rise of “the machines.”

I do expect that as a nation and as a people, will see sterner times than my generation has known or  thought it ever would know.

So why the optimism?

I’m optimistic because I am a “Kingdom” man and stern times present Kingdom opportunities.  Because God’s mercies are new every morning. Because the path of the just is like the dawn–growing brighter and brighter until the full day (Prov. 4:18). Because Jacob sowed in famine and reaped 100-fold in the same year (Genesis 26). Because “everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall.”

So let the adventure begin.