“Then David said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.’ “ (1 Chronicles 28:20, ESV)
Help us, O Lord! behold we enter
Upon another year to-day;
In Thee our hopes and thoughts now centre,
Renew our courage for the way ;
New life, new strength, new happiness,
We ask of Thee; oh, hear and bless!
—- Johann Rist
Many people think of the first day of January, at the beginning of the new year, as the time to make resolutions, the time to begin over again. Yet every day can be a day of new beginnings. Everyday we can resolve to start afresh, to walk more closely with God, to read our Bibles more faithfully, to invest more time in prayer, especially for our loved ones.
Will there be challenges? Oh, yes! And difficulties, and problems. Yet, as King David said to his son, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you….” We can press on, knowing that, “No testing has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your strength. Instead, along with the test he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In a sense, our future is as blank as the silent years of the life of Jesus Christ. Let us begin today with firm resolution to allow God to write on those blank pages that, as Enoch did of old, we walked with Him. Let us allow Him to use us according to His will and perfect plan for us. As the Apostle Paul has said, “None of those things [facing imprisonment and death] move me….” (Acts 20:24) “Brothers,… one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way….” (Philippians 3:13-15, HCSB)
Yes, let us leave those things behind that have been a hindrance to us, and, in this new day, let us press on for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us begin this new day, new week, new month, new year, with sincere dedication to being all that God would have us to be, to achieving all that Christ in us, our hope of glory, has for us to achieve. Let us accept all of today’s limitations, all its obstacles and hindrances, all its disappointments, its narrow and commonplace conditions and meet them as from the hand of a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best for us and what will help us become more conformed into the likeness of Christ.
Let us walk with Him with patience, with obedience, putting ourselves in cheerful subjection, serving our apprenticeship. Who knows what opportunities may come to us? May we, as obedient children, be ready to receive from our Father’s hand all that He has for us. May we walk in the path He has chosen for us and not seek to go our own way, that we may be in that place where He can shower blessings on us.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
(Psalms 1:1-6, ESV)