New Year, New Opportunities

Last week we encountered a New Year; the year 2017 quickly disappeared and was replaced by 2018.

Just like all of the years before, this division of years marks a time of new beginning or a fresh start, perhaps a do-over for some of us. As we begin this new year, we see many people establishing their “new year, new me” pledges, and reestablishing or reflecting on the past years proposals as well.

I think it is great when we set goals for ourselves and plan ways to achieve better things. In fact, God desires for us to set goals and obtain a vision for our lives, a vision that is in alignment with His purpose for us.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he who keeps the law-blessed is he.”

I think that there is a particular resolution for us from the heart of God this year, one that always holds true and is beneficial in so many ways: to foster a relationship with Him and continue growing in Him.

I think it’s important that we focus on Jesus, our savior. There is no better time than now to focus on building a better and stronger relationship with Him and to strengthen our trust in Him. Once we do this, everything else seems to become less of an issue and we are able to experience His wonderful peace and joy that He has to offer.

It’s not that we can’t focus on or have goals of a better and healthier lifestyle, or a more financially stable way of living for example, but when God becomes center of our lives all of those other things will fall into place and whether or not we achieve them how we see fit, we can still praise God and be thankful and full of joy that He’s our deliverer.

With the new year in effect, there are many of us who are remembering or being haunted by our past mistakes, failures, and setbacks; we have trouble moving forward no matter how bad we want it. We have become enslaved by the past and cannot enjoy the full Christian life that is described in the Bible.

The wonderful truth though is that God really wants to give us a fresh start, He wants us to have a new beginning, and He wants to do something new in our lives.

He is far more interested and intrigued by our future than what lies behind us. His good plan for our lives isn’t buried somewhere in our past. Just as you are still alive and well despite what has occurred, God’s plan for you is too; you haven’t missed it. He is always working. He specializes in new beginnings; through Jesus Christ we can be born again and become brand new. If you believe that, I invite you to renew your commitment to following and serving Him fully this year. Take leaps of faith, seek Him with your whole heart, align your thoughts with His Word, and depend on Him for all of your needs.

Furthermore, if you do happen to slip backward at any point, which is not uncommon as we all do it, just please remember that every day is a new day, and that means His mercies are also new (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Because of his daily renewing of mercies, we are presented each day with new opportunities to make a difference. I have noticed that time is a key component here, and in connection with strengthening your relationship with God, spend time with Him: time in the Word, time in prayer and in worship and fellowship. Be purposeful and intentional in this new journey. All of this will take commitment, consistency, and concentration, but it will all be worth it. Find hope in His word, maintain a positive outlook, and make the most of the opportunities He presents you with this year!

"Therefore if any person is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)