Its almost cliché to expect a new year to bring change. What has changed in our life besides the date on the calendar that would indicate a shift in our circumstances? This may seem a harsh reality for some, but I had to come to this realization as a point of new awakening. Instead of looking at the New Year as a new beginning I look at it as “where there is life, there is hope.”
Looking back at all the trials and challenges of the previous year has made me so thankful that I am still alive and still healthy and able to serve God in a whole new way.
The Bible tells us to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19).” So with this in mind, God is encouraging us to forget the things that may have previously beset us and look to him to renew us. There is nothing we can do in our own strength that can outweigh what God can do within our lives, but we have to be willing participants in our blessings. God’s love and blessing is never conditional but we have to be in the position to receive these blessings. Let us take this opportunity to look back on our life and see where we may have been out of position. Were we spending intimate time with God our Father? Were we reading the word to seek direction? Were we listening to His voice to know what to do and where to go?
Being circumspect is the first step to change. Examining our shortcomings and God’s expectations is the next thing we need to do. Then making a plan for our time, our life and our future. On our journey of fertility, we have a chance for God to use this New Year to develop us in a whole new way. Maybe we did not end 2020 in the place we thought we would have. But the most important thing to remember that we still have life and so Jesus Christ is our hope that each day, not just a new year, is a chance to seek renewal.
We have to first renew our minds. The Bible tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17).” We are also instructed “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, wha
t is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).”
This is such a great example of how we can approach life going forward. If we seek God’s wisdom to get an understanding of our life, we will be able to discern how our testing and trials are integral to our development as Christians. In this current year let us not look at every month of even the year as a starting point for growth and opportunity, but let us look to every day as a chance to spend time at the feet of Jesus, putting our whole life in His hands – knowing that he is the author and finisher of our faith.
Maybe 2020 brought disappointment, sadness and often times despair, but I am here to tell you friend, release the former things and look to Jesus to aid in your renewal each day of 2021. Let 2021 be intentional!