“LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW YEAR!”
By Pastor Donald Parker
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Even with all the craziness, uncertainty, and difficulties that we have; we can actually look forward to the New Year. How? You ask. By doing what God wants us to do. First, let go of your worries. That’s a lot easier said than done for many. Some people worry about everything; most of which never happens in the first place. Still, they cannot enjoy life, because of all their worries.
In Matthew 6:27, Jesus talked about worry, and asked, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Jesus, asks us the same question today; and the answer is No, it cannot! In fact, it could actually shorten your life. Nothing good is ever gained from worry. Worry is useless and ineffective, and cannot extend a single hour to your life.
The Apostle Paul, tells us how to deal with our issue of worry in Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. (7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul offered prayer as an antidote to worry. Paul says, take all that energy you use in worrying, and put it into prayer; and that includes praying about everything! No request is too small, too difficult, or unimportant to God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” This simple principle can stop worry in its tracks; “Don’t worry, pray!” That’s how you deal with worry – you pray! Worry and prayer cannot coexist.
We can also look forward to the New Year when we adjust our expectations. Our expectations for 2022 can be a wide-range of things; some of them may pan-out, others may not. But regardless of what our plans might be, regardless of what our expectations might be; God is able to work in all circumstances for our good as believers. Paul reminds us of that in Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” For Christians, we serve a God bigger than any of our life situations. Just because things don’t work out the way you planned it, or the way you expected them to, doesn’t mean that God can’t work in that circumstance; it just means it’s time to adjust your expectation and trust that God’s plan is always better.
Back in Philippians 4 verse 8, Paul says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” When we adjust our expectations on what God’s will is for our life; His plan and purpose for our life; my friend, you can truly look forward to the New Year!
Next, in looking forward to the New Year, taking a step of faith has to be a part of it. Hebrews 11:1 gives us the definition of faith; “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Confidence in what we hope for in God: His love, His power, and His grace in our lives. God is saying to you, “I have plans for you this New Year. I want to use you for My purposes. I want you to trust Me. I want you to step out in faith and trust Me with every area of your life.”
Maybe the first step you need to take in this New Year is to put your faith, your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, that’s where you start, that is the first step of faith you need to take. Don’t go another day without Jesus in your life. To know more about Jesus, and his love for you, join us at First Baptist Church, at 11am Sunday mornings.