But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-1
I love New Year. And I always make a New Year resolution – in spite of the fact that I am not always successful in keeping it!
But New Year is a time for looking forward, not back. It is a time to think about all that God has planned for me this year. It is a time to remember how good and how great He is every year – and I know this year will be no exception. The Bible proclaims from beginning to end that God is good and God is love and I believe that. I believe it because I believe the Bible is God’s Word. I believe it because I know Jesus who is my Saviour and my Lord. But, I also believe it because I have experienced it time after time after time.
And if ever I should doubt it all I have to do is look at the cross of Christ. The perfect demonstration of God’s love for me (Romans 5:8). Here is the proof that He loves me, proof that He wants my company, proof that by trusting Jesus I am a child of God and proof that when this life ends I will be with Him for ever – what more could I ask for? I should always be joyful and praising God for all this shouldn’t I? But…………………………… the reality is sometimes different!!
I have the great privilege of being part of a Christian Ladies Group where I live in the UK and I have learned many valuable lessons from these women. And this year is no exception, in spite of the fact that I have not been with them very much – (because of time spent in Spain which will soon be the subject of another blog post.) But the primary lesson I have learned is that we should – and can – keep praising God in spite of any difficulties we may be experiencing. Many of the women in this group have had severe problems this year and far from perfect circumstances, and yet…………………………… still they have trusted and still they have continued to praise God. And I believe they have brought a smile to God’s face time and time again throughout this year. “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147.11
It’s easy really to praise God when everything is going well – although we often don’t! But to praise Him when things are not so good? That takes courage and faith and endurance and character………….and today I want to shout aloud the praises of these wonderful women to anyone who will listen, and to say thank you to them for the lessons they teach me. And I praise God for each one of them. They know that even if they don’t understand everything, they can still trust God because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
And it is this that has made me decide on my New Year resolution – which is to praise God every day. To stop being so busy bringing Him all my requests that I often forget to praise Him for all that He is, all He has done, all that He does, and all that I know He will do in 2016. So this is my New Year resolution, and my prayer too because even in this I know I can’t keep it up in my own strength. Hopeless and helpless without Him but knowing He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
So I’m looking forward to 2016, and aiming to keep praising Him each day while waiting and watching for Jesus to return. Happy New Year and God bless you.