Each year we look toward to a new beginning. We make resolutions. We have great hope that this year we will make positive changes and have new opportunities. We resolve to do better.
The challenge is some of the things we would like to change are out of our control. The truth is the only things we can change is ourselves. Even then we face challenges. We should set goals and make plans. We need to remember that this life and all we have is a gift of God.
As you make resolutions and plan changes in the coming Year here are a few things to keep in mind. First from James chapter 4 verses 13-17. "13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"- 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James tells us to trust God. He, also tells us to honor God. How does your relationship to God fit into the resolutions you make for the New Year?
Second, we should focus on the things we can change. I read this quote from Chuck Swindoll in Golf Digest. He writes. "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what other people think or say or do. It will make or break a company, a church a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so, it is with you... we are in charge of our attitude."
Third, Paul writes in Philippians. "4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind (attitude) among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
This new year, remember we have a God who loves us and sent his Son to die for us. Remember that this loving God is still in control and he will come again to judge. Also remember that you can be a change agent as you witness to his light in this sin darkened world. You can change your attitude. That is when we make a difference. We live in this sin darkened world, but we are not of this world. We are children of the heavenly Father. We are beloved heirs moving toward the place Christ has prepared for us. Happy New Year!