What to expect in 2016

As a rule, the beginning of a new year is a good time for reflections, resolutions and predictions.  By the time we get to February, new year resolutions may be coming under strain!  But if we want to be like the Men of Issachar, we need to look at world events not only at the start of the year, but throughout, and ask the Lord what to make of them.  Economists and politicians have their perspective; prophets have theirs.  So let’s look briefly at the things which are likely to impact during 2016.

My source of information is Time magazine, where Ian Bremmer outlines what he considers to be the top ten geopolitical risks to the world in 2016.  It’s worth reading his article in full at www.time.com but he highlights these as the things to watch out for:

 US and Europe interests diverging and therefore failing to provide global leadership; the EC as a social entity strained by internal conflicts, especially if the UK pulls out; the role of China as a key international player; increased targeting of vulnerable states by ISIS; hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran; technology influencing politics more assertively; unpredictable leaders acting erratically (e.g. Putin (Russia), Erdogan (Turkey), bin Salman (Saudi Arabia) and Poroshenko (Ukraine); Brazil’s political and economic crisis; a lack of national elections where voters can make themselves heard; the rise of autocratic President Erdogan in Turkey.

An interesting list!  The picture Bremmer paints is of very fragile situations in South America, the US, Europe and the Middle East, while China is asserting herself as a dominant world power.

Time will tell if Bremmer is right, or whether unforeseen circumstances come into play.  Apart from the geopolitical impacts, we could add the growing financial crisis, the severe weather conditions (floods in Cumbria; snowstorms on East Coast USA; and so on); and many other factors.  It’s important for us, as Christians, to see what God is doing in all of this.  His purposes are being worked out right now.  He knows the outcome of every situation.  He knows how it will all fit together to create the scenario which has to be in place when his son, Jesus, returns to this earth.  That day is not far off, so let’s keep a prayerful eye on the news and be ready to herald Jesus’ return.


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