Photo by cory schmitz
A new year is right around the corner. For many this is a time of anticipation and joy for a new beginning. For others it can be a time of introspection and reflection. Some are excited to reflect on the year gone by while others are filled with regret. Many look forward to change and a fresh start. Others require change and a fresh start out of necessity from a year gone badly. As A.W. Tozer puts it, “For some of us last year was one in which we did not acquit ourselves very nobly as Christians, considering the infinite power available to us through the indwelling Spirit.”
The start of a new year can be strange. This is almost an arbitrary time of ending and beginning as the close of our calendar year sets upon us and the beginning of another year transitions in seamlessly. The temptation of any day, or year, can be to go about life as we always have. Many go from one day to the next and from one year to the next year without much reflection, anticipation, planning, or change. Proverbs 26:11 speaks of this tendency, concerning those default tendencies that should not bear repeating, the verse says, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”
So how should we approach new beginnings; be it the beginning of a new year, or the beginning of a new day? The Psalmist David, in Psalm 138:8, writes: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.” The apostle Paul also makes it clear, as David does in Proverbs, that it is God who works out His will, purpose, plans, and good works in our lives. Paul states, in Philippians 1:6, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”
The New Year is a great time to make a new beginning and to start again. It’s a great time for reflection and for planning for the future. We can learn as much from our mistakes and failures as we can from our successes and achievements from the previous year. All these can propel us, with God’s strength and power at work in us, to move us forward. As Tozer goes on to say, “But through the goodness of God we may go to school to our failures. The person of illuminated mind will learn from their mistakes, yes even from their sins. If their heart is trusting and penitent, they can be a better person next year for last year's fault—but let them not return again to folly.”
We know that next year, with God’s help, will be a good year filled with all the goodness of God’s perfect plan and will; knowing that God has begun this good work in us and He will see it out to completion. May we trust it to be so as we follow the Lord Jesus into a new year in 2011!
Happy New Year!
Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Php 1:6
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ps 138:8
Tozer, A.W. Topical Reader. WORDsearch Corp. © 1998, 2007