Originally posted January 7, 2015

Each January 1st we put a year behind us.  We think of the good times and the bad from the previous 12 months.  We remember happy occasions like births, weddings, and graduations.  But we also consider the low times such as illnesses, the death of loved ones, and personal hardships.

The past, however, is just that … passed.  We cannot change it and although we should learn from it, we should not dwell on it.  In fact, our Lord instructs us in this very thing.  Isaiah 43:18-19 … “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  In particular, we should not dwell on our sins.  When we come to God with a repentant heart and ask His forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, God removes the burden of our sin and forgets it.  Psalm 103:11-12 … For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;  As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Along with putting away the old year, on each January 1st, we look ahead to the New Year.  We may have anxiety, which the Lord tells to avoid.  Matthew 6:34 … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  The troubles we carry need to be addressed for certain, but the weight of those troubles should be placed at the foot of the cross.  Matthew 11:28-30 … Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The best part of the New Year is when we look forward with optimism to the possibilities of the coming 365 days.  Especially, for those of us who have put our faith in the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:11 … For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 40:31 … But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

We should be confident that during the year ahead, if we hope in the Lord and wait on Him, that all we need will be provided.  Matthew 7:7 … “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

So friends, as we set out on this journey of 2015, we should strive for a closer relationship with Jesus, love those around us as He loves, and share His offer of salvation.  Preach the Gospel to this fallen world whenever possible.  Matthew 28:19 … Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.  Bearing in mind that, regardless of what 2015 may bring, as His children we have an eternal promise of the wonderful things to come.  Revelation 21:4 … He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

May God bless you!

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