Thoughts on Going into a New Year…

I don’t know how it happened, but already we are on the cusp of another year, and it’s time to reflect and pray and take stock again.

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How do I look at another year? To be honest, sometimes I’m a bit afraid of what the new year will bring; what trials will come; how I will cope if this were to happen or this were to happen…

But I’m often reminded of those words from Proverbs 31:

‘Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.’ Proverbs 31:25

Some versions say that she laughs when she looks at the future.

The godly woman of Proverbs 31 laughs when she looks at the days ahead.

Why? Because she is confident in her Father’s provision.

I must be an expert worrier. I look ahead and see the problems long before they’ve ever arrived… And they probably won’t anyway. Yes, there may be trials, but they probably won’t be what I expect, and the provision for them will probably not be what I expect, either.

And God has been reminding me to look back at how He has provided and led me in the past… Abundantly. Most times, His provision was on another level entirely to what I’d expected… Something I didn’t see coming because it was just so much better than I could imagine.

His provision was deep and thorough and very, very wise, and very, very good. He led me in ways I didn’t expect, but ways that were so right.

He knows us so well. He cares so deeply. He knows just how to provide. There has never, ever been a time when He has let me down.

When He closed doors, it was because He had something better. When He did things slowly, it was because they were thorough, and whole. When He led me through valleys, He met me in them. Even in the little things, His provision has been so abundant, so tender, so wise, and so good.

And He loves to throw in blessings and surprises and gifts I never would have expected… Even in the darkest times, but also in the good ones, too. Blessings I never would have thought to ask for, because He knows us far better than we know ourselves and His provision is so very kind.

This verse often encourages me:

‘I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.’ Psalm 27:13

Because I have been forgiven through Jesus, that’s my future. That’s where I am headed in Christ: the Promised Land. It may be a way off, but it’s the final destination. And I will see His goodness and provision all along the way there.

There may be valleys, but they will be lit with His presence. There may be tears, but He will wipe them abundantly away. There may be brokenness, but it’s the way to far greater healing.

He will always be with me and He will always give me all I need.

I have no reason to be afraid.

In the light of that, how do I face a new year? Confident that He will provide, it’s a great time to look forward and take stock: to prayerfully seek Him and plan ways to serve Him in the coming year.

I always like to take time before a new year to pray and seek Him and write down some goals. I’m generally too ambitious! But it’s still good to seek Him about His plans for this new year.

It’s a good thing to make goals. It’s wise to do it after seeking Him in prayer. There are things He has called me to do, and it’s good to refocus and to plan. If we are not careful, time gets wasted on Facebook and shopping and watching films… Or a thousand other things…
And we let go of the things God is calling us to do.

Like reaching the people around us who don’t know how much they need salvation… And the over 2 billion who’ve never even once heard His Name.

But the best goal of all is to know Him; to love Him; to seek to stay close to Him through whatever comes.

Paul put it like this…

‘…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.’ Philippians 3:10-11

And to live to glorify Him, and to make known to the nations how good He is.

How can I look into a new year?

‘Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 3:12-14

Laughing at the days ahead, confident He will provide. Putting His kingdom first, knowing He’ll give me all I need (Matt 6:33). And seeking to know Him, no matter what comes.

Knowing that I will see His goodness every step of the way, and I have no reason to be afraid.

So I can hug my friends and say ‘Happy New Year’ and smile with confidence, because, although I don’t know the future, my Father does, and He will go with me all the way. 🙂

(If you don’t yet know the salvation and forgiveness He offers, the best way you can go into a new year (if you ever see it, for none of us know how long we have) is to get right with Him now by surrendering to Him as Lord and receiving His forgiveness… So that His love will lead you forward into the mercy and grace He wants to pour into your heart and life. Seek Him today, before it’s too late).

Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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