Here we are… January 2016! A new year lies ahead of us, full of promise and hope. At least that is the way I pray you are viewing this upcoming year. Perhaps 2015 left you a little battered and bruised. Last year possibly held problems in areas of health, finances, children, addictions, and unemployment, to name a few.
This time one year ago you were thinking surely 2015 will be better. Your hopes were high, but alas…the tests and challenges came anyway! You even ate your big helping of black-eyed peas and cabbage. Obviously that made no difference!
My question to you is this…why are we surprised? Jesus says this in John 16:33 of The Bible, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Take heart! Regardless of what happens in your life, God is in control. If you have asked to be forgiven of your sins and trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, there is peace that surpasses all understand no matter what your circumstances are.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:7)
Therefore, no matter what we experienced in 2015 we should march right into 2016 with HOPE. Perhaps you ate those black-eyed peas but know this, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Don’t start the New Year with Satan’s voice of discouragement in your ear. Look to Jesus, seek His will for your life, and rest in the shadow of His wings when trials and problems come your way. Notice I said “when” not “if.” All the more reason to spend this year building an even closer relationship with your Heavenly Father. He will help prepare you and your faith for any battle that lies ahead. He will never leave your side and carry you when you feel you can go no further.
I will close with a suggestion for how you might possibly view last year as a whole. Despite the bad times there were some really good times, blessings, and God’s daily provision of your physical needs. If you are breathing and reading this He has given you another year of life with family, friends, and those wonderful grandchildren you have. You are blessed!
You simply need to change your focus from the bad to the blessings! You might have been ill, but God has healed you or answered prayers for your children or provided you with a job. He’s a good, good Father! Be thankful and praise Him. Look forward to 2016 with hope, all the time remembering the ultimate promise we have of eternity in heaven which makes all things on this earth, good and bad, fade in comparison.
“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” (Psalm 33:20-22)
Happy New Year! God bless you. To God Alone Be the Glory!
**The picture above is a Free Printable that can be found at craftberrybush.com!