A New Year...A New Beginning
The year I started kindergarten I became aware of new beginnings and fresh starts. Each year after that the prospect of a fresh start with new crayons, pencils, pencil case, a book bag, lunch pail, writing pads, and a new first day outfit brought excitement and joy to my life. I looked forward to the thrill of walking into the new classroom, meeting the new teacher, and smelling the brand-new text books as I opened them for the very first time. Yes, we actually had hard covered text books.
A few years later I became aware that each new year also brought opportunity to start over. Once I was finished my schooling New Year’s Day began to be my “fresh start” day. I would reorganize something and I began to use that day to make schedules and plans for the upcoming year. I soon learned not to bother making New Year’s resolutions because I couldn’t stick to them. I learned not to think of the things I had not accomplished in the past year, but to look forward to the new possibilities the Lord would bring into my life. In Isaiah 43:18-19 we see that letting go of the past and looking ahead to the future is what God expects of us.
“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 HCSB
God is not interested in what I did not accomplish in 2018. He is waiting for me to ask Him to help me with the future. He will take me through the wilderness, the hard times that are sure to come, and refresh me with His streams through the wastelands and deserts. We are all facing “a new thing” in 2019; perhaps many new things. We have no idea what exciting possibilities the Lord will bring to us. We also have no idea what challenges, difficulties and yes, perhaps devastating circumstances we may face in the coming year. But we can be prepared. We can face each situation with deep peace knowing our God is with us each step of the way.
The Lord has challenged me in recent days with the truth that it is more important for me to “be” the woman He can use, rather that focus on the things I can “do” for Him. Christ is not as interested in what I accomplish, as He is with who I am.
God’s Word has promised that all who choose to become followers of Jesus become new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
When we choose to believe God’s Word as truth, then follow and obey Him, we become brand-new. Learning to be like Christ in our attitude, behaviour, and character helps us to be prepared to meet all situations that come our way. Striving to be like Jesus helps us face the future with confidence and serenity. Yes, we will still experience problems, but we will be better equipped to handle them.
A study of Philippians 2: 1-11 is a great place to start preparing for whatever you will face in 2019. Verse 5 gives a good first step.
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus...” Philippians 1:5 NKJV
Once you begin striving to be like Christ, you will be able to praise the Lord with these words:
“Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has performed wonders;
His right hand and holy arm have won Him victory. The Lord has made His victory known; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His love and faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.” Psalm 98:1-3 HCSB
How is God speaking to you today? Does He want you to put your focus and energy on “being” more like Christ, rather than on “doing” a multitude of activities?
May God richly bless you and guide you during 2019.
Your Friend, Debi
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