As we begin a new year, many of us spend time thinking about
our accomplishments and our failures from the previous year. Some of us set new
goals; other don’t bother because we never seem to achieve them. Whether we make
resolutions or not, all of us have things we wish to accomplish in 2019. A
change of focus may be what we need to succeed.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 elaborates on these seasons by showing
several dichotomies we may face in life. These include –
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
May we approach the New Year as a season of contemplation: a
time to remember and a time to forget.
Remember what God has
done for you.
God has chosen us in Jesus and adopted us as sons and
daughters. He has redeemed us and forgiven all our sins. We have been accepted
by Him. He has sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise which guarantees us a
future inheritance. (Eph.1:4-14) He has poured forth provision,
protection, and guidance. He has given us abundantly above and beyond what we
could think or ask. In fact, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
(Eph 1:3). Focusing on what God has already done will strengthen our faith for
Remember what God has
done in you.
God has brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light
(1Peter 2:9), freed us from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:12), and enabled us to
live a life that is pleasing to Him. Jesus gave us new life with a new nature.
He has given us the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) and filled us with His Spirit
so that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control can flourish (Galatians 5:22-23). Focusing on what
God has already done helps us be more cooperative as He continues to transform
Remember what God
will do for you.
God continues His work in us: “He who has begun a good work
in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). He is
in the process of transforming us into the image of His Son (2 Cor 3:18), and He will not stop until the day we join Him in Heaven. At that time
He will raise us from the dead and give us new, glorified bodies in which we
will live through eternity with Him (1 Cor 15:51-57). Focusing on what God
promises He will do in His Word, gives us hope for the future.
Forget what you used
Before we were saved, we were enemies of God. We lived to
please ourselves. At salvation, God forgave all our past. We also need to
forgive ourselves. We are no longer who we were. It is often easier to forget
our pre-salvation sins than it is to forgive those we commit after
salvation. We tend to dwell on times we fail Him and wonder how we could
disappoint a God that has done so much for us. But, the Bible is clear: God is
faithful to forgive us of all our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness (1
John 1:9). We can ask for forgiveness, accept it, and continue forward – living
a life pleasing to God. Let’s forget what we used to be and focus on what God is
doing. He will enable us to be all that He wants us to be.
We are not strong enough, smart enough, or talented enough.
We want to accomplish great things for God but we find that we do not have what
it takes. This is true when we rely on ourselves, but in the power of the
Spirit we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13). When
God calls us, He also equips us. Whatever we were lacking before, we can be
confident that God will provide everything we need to please and obey Him. So,
let’s forget our past limitations and rely on the equipping God provides today.
Forget you past
We often get discouraged when we think about the ways we
have failed God in the past. But God wants us to keep moving forward. Think
about the apostle Paul who persecuted Christians. When God called him, he
became one of the first missionaries and a principle writer of the New
Testament. If Paul had allowed his past failures to guide his life, he would
not have been able to accomplish God’s will.
In 2019, let’s strive to be like Paul: forget what we have
done and remember what God has and will do.
Let’s live forward, strive to
please God, and work to accomplish all that He has planned for us. When we
focus on what God is able to do through us, we will be able to accomplish any
and everything He desires.
What goals does God have for you in 2019?
How will you work toward them?
All quoted Scriptures are NKJV
Copyright 2019 by Karen Griffin