Guest Writer: Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV
As Christmas comes to an end we anxiously await the words “Happy New Year!” My best friend and I have this tradition we do every year for the last five years usually around the end of December. We go to our favorite beach spot, where we talk and pray about the past year and look ahead to the New Year.
We ponder and discuss all the interesting occurrences that happened the past year; the good times, the bad times, the frustrating times and the fun times. We share what valuable lessons we learned from our experiences, what God showed us and how He was faithful through all of it
We do this as a closure to one year and then an opening to the next. After we have laughed a while and then cried, we begin to look forward with great excitement, wondering what God has for us this coming new year. What new experiences will we go through and what new lessons will we learn. It’s all fresh and new and that is exciting.
In doing this I believe it helps us to view each year as a season, understanding that God is Sovereign and has new seasons of experiences and growth to make us more like Christ. I can testify there were times we went through seasons of grief and there were also times we experienced seasons of joy.
It helps me to remember that God is in total control and that we are constantly growing as His children and that He knows the plans He has for us. Plans of new wisdom, insight and understanding that He wants to impart to us, if we will allow Him to.
It also gives us a fresh new outlook of the coming year and enables us to leave the past where it belongs, not that we forget the past but learn from it and move forward into our present future with opened hearts and minds to receive whatever God has for us.
With that said, I put together eight ways we can view the New Year and every year as.
Make 2015 A Year of:
New Beginnings: Start out the New Year with a fresh point of view to new experiences, memories and blessings. Having an opened mind and heart to where ever the Lord may take you with full assurance and confidence that He is with you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
New Possibilities: There’s no limit to what God can do in your life and nothing is impossible with God. God opens doors that no man can shut and also closes doors that no man can open. The possibilities are endless with God that is according to His will. (Philippians 4:13)
New Plans: Every year is a new season, be prayerful of what God has planned for you and be willing to walk by faith in obedience as you follow His leading. Remember that His plans are always for good and not for evil to give you a future and a Hope. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
New Purpose: As you forge ahead, God always has a plan and a purpose for what you will go through and experience. Remember that God always has a reason for what He allows in your life and through it you can trust Him completely. (Proverbs 1:3-5)
New Provisions: The bible says to not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own. Trust in your Heavenly Father who knows everything you need, who is your God and your Provider. He is faithful and He will do it. (Matthew 6:1-33)
New Growth: When we are willing to let go and let God work in us and through us, He will always stretch us and grow us. It is an important part of the growth process. Continue to grow in your relationship with Him and in His Word. Pray for God to mold you and make you pliable in the potters hand and then watch the master craftsman work on His masterpiece; which is you!
New Wisdom: With new experiences and new lessons come new wisdom and insight. Always make it a priority to seek out wisdom as hidden treasure or fine gold. In Proverbs it says that it will be like a garland of grace around your neck and honor you and present you with a crown of splendor. (Proverbs 4:7-9)
Renewed Peace: As you go through new experiences and new adventures whether they are good or bad, my encouragement is to keep your eyes fixed on Christ and He will give you rest and peace, because He is our peace and loves you and cares for you deeply. (John 16:33)
Keep in mind that if even the wicked give good gifts to their children how much more will your Heavenly Father give to those that ask Him? (Matthew 7:7-11)
Let us give thanks to the Lord for getting us through another year as we look forward to what He has for us up ahead and praise Him that He is faithful and worthy to be praised!
Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff is a Pastor’s Wife, Woman’s Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher, Writer and Columnist.
Activity: In the comment section, share any struggles, memories, or mindsets you are leaving behind in 2014. Share any new experiences or changes you are believing God for. At one church I attended, every new year, each person would write a letter to God sharing with God what they wanted God to do in their life for the coming year. We put the letters in an envelope and gave them to the church. At the end of the year, everyone got their letter back. We could then see how God moved in our life over the previous year and/or how we had grown. Think about writing a letter to God today.