As you may well have noticed, I don’t necessarily post about relevant dates. I resisted the urge to post any Christmas posts as they are a dime a dozen and I didn’t want to add to that just for the sake of posting something about Christmas. I do feel the need to post about the new year because we (my wife and I) have had an interesting but rather stressful and ‘growing’ year, so we are glad to see the back of it.
We always wish people a Happy New Year. What do we actually mean by that? Do we hope that the 1st of January is a happy day, or do we mean the whole year. We, as Christians, should look forward to the new year, especially if the last one has not been that great. It is easy to get into a downward spiral where we think that because this year has been bad, so will the next. Romans 8 v 29 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This means that although we may have had a tough year, better things are to come. We just have to ask ourselves what we can learn from the last year; how have we grown by what has happened?
I don’t believe that God brings bad things onto us, or drags us through hardships, but I do think that He teaches us valuable lessons when bad stuff does happen. He uses those bad things to strengthen us and to teach us, He doesn’t send them. John 10 v 10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.
I think that the changing of the year is a perfect time to thank God for what He has done for us over the last year. Instead of making new years resolutions like going to the gym and eating less chocolate (however positive they may be), why don’t we do some repentance? Not repentance as in saying sorry, but repentance as in changing our lives. Changing what we need to change to get closer to God. Use this opportunity to ask God what He wants us to be. Not what to do, but to be (I got that from the church sermon on Sunday). If we can line ourselves up with the will of God, how much better off will we be? Some people think that the blessings we receive will only be in heaven, and not here on earth, but Luke 10 v 29-30 would indicate otherwise. We need to learn from our mistakes and not dwell on them, as there is no condemnation for those in Jesus, and look to the present to change and the future to succeed.
So those of you that, like us, have had a difficult year, let’s learn from it but leave it behind. Get ourselves in line with the will of God, and look forward to a good 2014! Let us keep our minds focused on God and what He wishes us to think about, let’s not look at what we can DO for God but what we can BE for Him!
Happy New Year!