By anguillian January 8, 2018 09:36 Updated



As we stand at the beginning of a New Year, the choice is ours as to how to approach it and how to live through it. We can choose to approach the New Year and live our lives with self-pity, with blame, with anger and bitterness, with an unwillingness to change, or with joy and thanksgiving. It is a choice we must make. It is a decision we must think about.

The power to choose is a wonderful privilege and freedom. We can begin the New Year however we choose to – we were made that way by a sovereign God to choose the path of our attitude and action that we desire. However, the outcome is often intrinsically tied to our choices. Because every choice we make has an end result – good, bad or indifferent – the choices we make are the hinges of our destiny. We make our decisions, and then our decisions make us.

So, we can begin the New Year with a positive or a pitiful outlook. It is our choice. We can begin the New Year rehashing and reliving the miseries and the missed opportunities of the old year, or we can begin the New Year with wonderful anticipation of something better. We can begin the New Year as pessimists, seeing the difficulty in every opportunity, or we can begin as optimists, seeing an opportunity in every difficulty.

My friends, the choice is ours. We cannot go back, neither can we stay where we are – we must go forward. Even if we want to go back, we can’t. God is calling on us to move onward and forward. He is calling on us to move on and out, by faith, into the unknown future. This might not be easy, but it must be done. When we do it, we will discover a well of joy springing up to refresh our souls as we march onward with God by our side.

We have suffered much in the past, physically, emotionally, financially and even spiritually, but we must never give up. We must never let our pain paralyze us. We must shake it off because it serves no useful purpose. Grief is good and proper and is healing and even ennobling, but after grief has done its work of healing and helping, then we must move on. The past is gone. It’s over and we can’t go back. Not even if we want to try. We cannot live in yesterday. And we cannot even live in today. We must move onward towards tomorrow.

The unknown future lies before us, but we must not live in fear. We will face strange paths, we will go through new experiences, we will be asked to travel new territories that we have never ever seen before, but we must move on with courage to where God wants us to be. We must accept the challenge, my friends. We have to be willing to face the challenges ahead knowing that God is with us. We will never be left or forsaken. He promises us His power and presence for our lives. We must be willing to trust Him come what may. He often reveals His power best in times of seemingly great challenge.

To get where God wants us to be, we must face our challenges with the promise of God’s presence and by doing as He directs. So, let us draw our strength from Job’s life and Job’s choices. Out of all that he had endured, and out of all that befell him, he chose to praise God. Even in the backdrop of a canvas painted with chaos, crisis and confusion, he literally gave praise to God. His theology was, Lord, I have lost much that was dear to me, I have experienced the depths of grief and pain, but I am going to praise you for life, favour and your spirit. I am going to take the ashes of life and see if something cannot come from that. We too must say the same despite of our suffering.

Sometimes pain can be the platform of blessings. When we bring our pain to God, He can reverse the order. Jabez knew that best. He had the antidote or a remedy for his pain. He believed that God was a God who, if you prayed about your pain, He would do something. To us, joy means the absence of all pain, but that is not so. Joy is deep satisfaction that comes from knowing that God is in control even when our circumstances seem to be out of control. The key to joy is knowing that God is in control. If we know that, we can be satisfied at a very deep level even while we weep over what is happening around us and to us.
Let us give God thanks in all things, for we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. God wants to put our faith to the test. Until our faith is put to the test, it remains theoretical. We will never know what we believe until hard times come. Then we will find out, for better or for worse. When life comes apart at the seams, then we discover what we truly believe. Until then, our faith is speculative because it is untested.

So, as we sojourn into the New Year, our only hope lies in the promises of God for the future. Let us step out into the future, trusting that somehow, someway, God will keep his promises. Let us trust in God’s provision and timing, for He knows what the future holds and what is best for us. Out of the humdrum of our lives, God is weaving an unseen pattern that will one day lead us in a new direction. By faith, let us take the next step and walk with God wherever He leads us. Sometimes it will make sense, other times it won’t. But we still must take that step if we are going to do His will. Let us give God thanks for allowing us to see another year. Happy New Year to all!

Standing at The Portal
Standing at the portal, Of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, Hushing every fear;
Spoken thru the silence by our Savior’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.

Onward, then, and fear not, Children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

I, the Lord, am with thee, Be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen, be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee, With My own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen, In My sight to stand.

For the year before us, O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy, living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful, Shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble, Perfect strength be found.

He will never fail us, He will not forsake;
For His eternal covenant, He will never break.
Resting on the promise, what have we to fear?
God is all sufficient, For the coming year.

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only and has now published Positive Living Volume 2. Contact information: 476-3517 or email: marilynb@anguillanet.com. www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre

By anguillian January 8, 2018 09:36 Updated


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