The first day of the New Year is always an exciting day for me, for it represents a NEW BEGINNING. In this brand new year, I am always excited about what God has in store for me during that year. Even though I know difficult days are sure to come, I know that the Lord will give me the grace, mercy, love, strength, and ability to walk victoriously through whatever comes my way!
How can you and I stand firm in our faith and trust in the Lord throughout the coming year?
We can stand firm in our faith because:
- we have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ, through Whom we receive forgiveness of our sin,
- we offer ourselves in obedience and service to Him,
- by reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing the Holy-Spirit-inspired-Word the Holy-Spirit-inspired Word by which we are being continually transformed as our minds are renewed.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2
So, begin this year looking ahead to what the Lord would have us do for His Kingdom.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay old 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
Do not forget that part of the reason the Lord puts us in a local church is so that we can spur each other on to godly living, encourage, teach, and admonish our brothers and sisters in Christ. Do not miss the opportunities that walk by and sit near you at church.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. – Jude 20-22
I woke up in the wee hours of this new year with the words of an old hymn written by Palmer Hartsough (lyrics) and James H. Filmer Sr. (tune) on my mind, “I Am Resolved.” (Look it up online if you are not familiar with this hymn.)
The third verse is particularly appropriate for today:
I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day,
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living way.
Various Scripture verses and passages also came to mind this morning:
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
- Isaiah 40:31
- Lamentations 3: 22-24
- Ezekiel 36:26-28
- Romans 8:18
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- James 1:17-18
- 1 Peter 1:3
While some of these verses and passages are specific promises to a specific people at a specific time, they are also God’s way of saying to us today, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Hebrews 12:1-2 also gives us a hint:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in 2016, aren’t you?