"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
This verse really rings true to any believer. In whatever we plan to be different for this year, God already knows about it. And as long as we are seeking His will in our lives as the driving force for the changes that we want to make, we have no reason to fear. All of us were born with a purpose. A purpose designed by God before the creation of the world. He knows our beginning, our end, and everything in between. And the plans are for our own good. Contrary to what you may hear from some people, everything that happens in our lives is for our good. God does not delight in bad things happening to us. He has a future for us, and that should give us hope for what is to come. And when we pray, He listens. When we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him.
So now that we have no reason to fear this new beginning, what now? I have three things that I believe will help us as we look forward to 2013.
1. Forget the Past
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Whatever has happened last year, be it good or bad, it is in the past. We cannot go back and change what has happened in our lives. Many people spend a lot of time dwelling on this. A famous quote I hear a lot "If I knew then, what I know now" comes to mind. That is a chapter in our lives that has come to a close. We must leave it in the past and reach forward to the future and what God has prepared for us in it. There are new challenges, new opportunities for service, and new blessings on the horizon. In the end, there is a robe and a crown of life waiting on us. That is what we are working toward. We must live each day with the end in site. Thinking of heaven makes every little thing that happens here seem not worth worrying about.
2. Wait on the Lord
"Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary."
We must understand that things will happen in God's timing and not our own. His plan has been laid out in our lives, and nothing is going to change that. We must take comfort in that, and let God lead. Many times we tend to take matters into our own hands. Because lets face it, none of us are very patient people in this day and time. I know that I am not. And when we do, we tend to make a mess of things. But God has a time and place set aside for everything. And His timing is perfect.
"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."
3. Treat Each New Day as a Special Gift
"The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
Each new day is just that, a new day. And each new day is a gift from God. His love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, grace extend to us brand new each day. He is always there for us. So, we likewise, need to be there for Him each and every day. How can we do this? We need to talk to Him, seek Him, and search for ways to serve Him. We should be in a constant state of prayer. Yes, He already knows what is on our hearts. But, it is still important for us to pray. Because our faith is based on a relationship. And you cannot have a good relationship when one party is not communicating. We seek His will in our lives by reading and studying our bibles. The scripture is a written account of how He wants us to live. If we try to model our lives based on these scriptures, we find ourselves drawing closer to His will in our lives. Lastly, we need to serve. Our main commandment is to witness to the lost. This is not only done by the conversations that we have with others, but in the way that we live. Our actions show who we truly are. They are our biggest witness to this world. We need to share the good news of His birth, and His death for all of our sins.
Perhaps you may be reading this today, and have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If not, all of the hope that is mentioned above is not in your life. For without Christ we have no hope. I urge you to seek Him. He can take anything that you are going through right now, and turn it around. He can take your life and give you hope.
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
He is the only one that can do this for you. If you are seeking, I encourage you to click the tab at the top of this page for the Plan of Salvation. Read through this, as it explains the need that we have for Christ.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this devotion, and I hope that it helps with the hope of this new year. I pray God will bless you all in 2013!