One can almost breath in the excitement and expectation of new prospects, new resolutions, new hopes, new opportunities, new possibilities. Many are ready to leave behind the struggles of the past year and embrace the hope of a better year to come. Yet none of us know what this new year will hold…maybe joy, maybe sorrow, probably both. So, as we step forward into another year, let’s allow the words of this promise God made to Israel,
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19a)
So, what is this “new thing” God is doing?
He is in the process of bring His new kingdom which was ushered in by the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son. He is in the process of transforming broken sinners like us into disciples of Christ who more clearly reflect His image. He is preparing to come again and bring the new heaven and the new earth, but until then, we need to do all we can to join Him in bringing new hope, new strength, new joy. How can we do that?
May I offer this one practical suggestion?
Use 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 as a guide in the new year to help you daily grow in your love for God, in your awareness of His presence, and in your commitment to follow His call on your life.
I encourage you use the verses below every to guide you and give you focus for each day. Then the next week, do the same and keep doing it throughout the year.
“Rejoice always” (v16)
“pray continually” (v17)
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (v18)
“Do not quench the Spirit.” (v19)
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test them all” (v20)
“Hold on to what is good,” (v21)
“reject every kind of evil.” (v22)
This is my prayer for you as you step into the new year, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Step into the new year with confidence knowing God has this covered!