There are some things in life that are simply hard. God knew this. He knows all the days and times seasons of your life.
No matter what went on in 2017. No matter how it felt. God was with us. Walking us through the “stuff” of life.
You may want to ask or say, “Sure dodi. Right. You don’t know what I went through. You don’t know how hard 2017 was. “
You are right I don’t. But your Abba father does. And guess what? We all made it through 2017 because we are now in 2018.
The struggles of life are kind of like the new year. There is an end. Better yet there is comfort during. Remember Jesus said, "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." in John 16:33.
In the Hebrew culture, the New Year happened at Rosh Hashannah. They still do celebrate it then as do our Messanic brothers and sisters.
Here is a quote from the Jews For Jesus site.
It is customary for Jewish people to greet one another by saying, (La shanah tova tikatevu”) May your name be inscribed for a good year. A traditional blessing said at this time is known as the Shehechianu: “Blessed art Thou O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has kept us and sustained us and brought us to this season.”
Shall we pause and do that even right now?
Father God thank you for bringing us all to this time of New Year. Thank you that looking back, we can see the hand of God was indeed upon us, just as Jesus said it would be. Thank you that we can look back and see your faithfullness to us, even when sometimes we were not that faith filled ourselves. Lord thank you that this day can be a marker of a fresh new depth in our levels of trust. Be with each of us during this time as we ponder what gifts you may have for us this year. And LORD be with us as we consider how we want to live in this new year you have given us. In Jesus name amen
I will tell you a secret. I NEVER make New Year resolutions.
I do something different and have for many years.
I seek God for a word or phrase to define, shape and guide the next year. Sometimes the word may be repeated. Often the word or phrase becomes a part of who I am. Last year it was “Restroration, Ruins being restored.” One year it was “I AM is EMMANUEL” that one truly became part of how I live my life. God is “I AM” and God is Emmanuel. “I AM” implies The All Sufficient One. Emmanuel is God With Us. So for me, when things are difficult, I remember I AM is all we need and Emmanuel is always with me.
Some years, I just know what the word or phrase will be and other years I have to keep asking and praying.
This year is it ALIGNMENT, which I did not fully understand until yesterday on New Year’s Eve. It will remind me that as I align with the Word, Truth and Character of God more and more deeply, I will “BE” more and more who God created, designed and is crafting me to be. Along with that comes knowing that what others think, say or even do to me does NOT define who we are. Nor does our past.
One good thing a New Year does, is invite us to step out of the past. Lay aside ALL the baggage of the past and enbrace with faithful trusting JOY what God has for us NOW and in the year to come.
Having said that…
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We are so blessed. We are not limited by our own understanding. We are invited to TRUST God with all that is us and to simply trust that God is good, His word is true and he truly is Emmanuel (God with us) now and forever.
He desires to and He WILL direct our paths for us.
I want to share part of an article from Gotquestions about New Year’s Resolutions
"What sort of New Year’s Resolution should a Christian make?"
Answer: The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years. There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?
Common New Year’s resolutions are commitments to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money more wisely, and to spend more time with family. By far, the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. This should not be.
Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution.
Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do?
Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?
Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it.
If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.
So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions:
(1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make;
(2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you;
(3) rely on God’s strength to help you;
(4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you;
Isnt that an intersting suggestion for us who either have done or might be doing the CR steps which include an accountability partner?
(5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further;
(6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause…
ESV Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Any discussion? Anyone like to share about what you feel God may be calling you to do different in the next year?
Remember this is a GOOD season/day to step out of the past and embrace whatever God has for us in this new year.
Let’s pray: Father thank you for this time. Thank you for being with us all the days leading to this very moment. Father God, help us, help me to walk in awareness of your presence with us. To trust you more deeply than ever before. To spend time seeking you in your Word and to apply that truth to our daily lives. In Jesus name amen.
See you next week when we will be back to a more usual format.
Monday night Bible study discussion archive. Feel free to view and comment on the studies posted here.
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