I hope each one of you had a very Merry Christmas!
In just three days we will enter the New Year of 2017. Some of us are entering the new year with excitement and anticipation, others with a bit of dread, and still others with trepidation and fear as to what the new year holds. For me, I am mostly excited, but there is always a little bit of fear for the unknown and what may (or may not) happen in the coming year. However, the future is totally in God’s hands – depending on the level of our faith that truth may bring comfort or fear, but it’s meant to bring us comfort.
Whatever you are thinking or feeling about the new year, I want to share some thoughts with you today (from God’s Word). They are meant to bring comfort, courage, and hope to our hearts. These thoughts and promises are for us at anytime, but I believe they will be especially helpful as we are about to enter a new year.
Thoughts for the New Year
God’s Mercies are New
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
At the close of every year, there are usually thoughts of failures and mistakes from the previous year. Things we should have accomplished (but didn’t), choices that never should have been made (but were made anyway), words that were said (or should not have been said)… and the list could go on.
Whatever mistakes we have made this past year, they can be forgiven and we can move on. Why? Because God is merciful and full of compassion. Every day His mercies are new – free and plentiful and ready to be received the moment we ask for it.
We Must Forget the Past and Move On
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
This is a personal weakness of mine: thinking about the past. Whether it’s something that happened three years ago, last week, or yesterday, I often waste my time living in the past. Thinking about the past and reliving it keeps us from moving forward. It can steal our joy, and slow us down. Not forgetting the past will keep us from becoming who God wants us to be, and will keep us from doing the things He wants us to do.
In order for us to move on and have a successful year (for the Lord), we must surrender our memories of the past and focus on honoring God with our future.
God’s Grace is Sufficient
“And He said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Whatever we may be facing now, or in the new year, God’s grace is sufficient. His grace (not your own strength) will carry you through. His grace (just like His mercy) is full and free – and He wants to give you the grace you need… and His grace is ENOUGH.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
You Don’t Need To Be Afraid
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
Most of us probably experience a little bit of fear when we think of the new year. The fear of the unknown can enter our hearts and minds very quickly. It’s comforting to remember that fear does not come from God – He does not want us to fear. Instead he has given us the spirit of power (ability), love, and a sound mind (a disciplined, well-trained mind). We don’t need to fear, and God does not want us to fear!
You Are Not Alone
“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
This promise was given to Joshua by Moses. It was a promise from the Lord for Joshua as he was appointed to lead the nation of Israel to the promised land. We can claim this wonderful promise as well. We are about to enter a new year, but we are not going alone. In the coming days, weeks and months ahead, we will not be left to ourselves to figure everything out on our own. God is with us now and He will be with us every moment of the coming year.
So remember this: He is not going to leave you! Let this truth sink into your heart, it will bring you courage and comfort.
The Lord Will Direct Your Steps
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Undoubtedly we all have goals and plans, hopes, and dreams for the coming year. These things are all fine and good (we need to plan) but we must give those plans over to the Lord. Most of us will plan for certain things to happen in the coming year, but God may see fit to totally change our plans. He will direct our steps as He sees fit.
You and I can both be sure that the coming year is not going to go exactly as planned. God may teach us lessons we didn’t know we needed to learn. He may bring people into our lives we never dreamed of meeting – He may even see fit to take some people out of our lives. This coming year may exceed our expectations or we may feel hopelessly disappointed. Whatever happens this coming year, God is the One who will be leading us and directing our steps the whole way through. He does not (and will not) change, He will remain the same, and we can trust Him each and every step of the way.
I hope you will enter the new year with your heart set on the Lord. All your hopes, your dreams, your joys, your needs, your desires, they can all be found and met in HIM. No matter what this coming year holds for you and me, God wants to use every bit of it to mold us and make us into the image of His Son. If we surrender to His perfect will and way, we will have an amazing year regardless of what takes place in the days and weeks ahead!
“And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear thou not neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
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- What are your hopes for the coming year?
- Which thought/promise speaks the most to your heart?