Around this time, we are all beginning our resolutions for the new year. For many of us, it means that we will commit to lose those stubborn pounds gained over the holiday season. For others, it will mean reading more books or being kinder to those around us. Embarrassingly, my resolutions this year are being rolled over, just like my extra vacation days.
Regardless of what you personally planned on accomplishing in 2019, you may have encountered some challenges last year that you didn’t plan on. For many, last year threw more than a few curve balls. You aren’t alone if 2019 was marked by hurt, pain, disappointment, fear, stress, or struggle.
Let us be clear; God has never and will never be the author of evil in our lives. Just as in the life of Job, His all knowing sovereignty allows events to enter our path for our growth, testing, and maturing. Our human encounters with struggles and difficulties are a result of sin’s effect on our fallen world. I sure would like to go back and give Adam & Eve a piece of my mind. Because of the first humans’ choice to rebel against God, you and I are faced with the dilemma of unplanned and unwanted struggle.
Regardless of whether last year’s struggles were a result of your bad choices or the evil of someone else, we can choose to enter this new year with resolve to rise above what befell us. Through searching the Holy Scriptures, we can visualize three strategies to put this past year behind us.
The first element is forgiveness. Although it needs little explanation, it is the most difficult for us to complete. The Bible states in 1 John 1:9 that God is “faithful” to “forgive us.” Some of us need to forgive ourselves or forgive others who have wronged us in the past in order to move on in this new year. It is only when we choose to forgive that we can move forward to accomplish what God created us to accomplish for Him.
Next, the Apostle Paul challenged the believers at Philippi in Philippians 3:13 to place the past behind them and stretch forward to attain “the goal” and “prize” that God had placed in front of them. Philippians 3:13b-14 states, “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). We can only attain what God wants us to accomplish when we separate the past from our present and “press” toward the future.
Last, we should commit our new year to God. Just as is beautifully stated in Psalm 37:3-5 “trust” and “commit” the path of your life to the Lord. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture... Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” To trust God means to simply place your dependence on the one who created you and has anticipated every step of your life.
Before creating a resolution for 2020, take a moment to reflect on the deep waters of last year and forgive, move forward, and commit your path ahead to God.
The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of NorthcentralPa.com.