• Jill Jarrell Newsome

New Year, New Start

I always say, everyone has a story. If you don't think you do look over the past year and look at how things worked out. Look at the things that seemed terrible at the time, things that caused much anxiety and those things that were horrible. When you look back I bet you will see the story unfold. You will see how God was with you every step of the way. And you will see where God brought good from the bad. Romans 8: 28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I think about the death of my father who I miss terribly. My eyes tear up thinking about it and it has been eight years. But the good that God brought from it is that I grew closer to God. I had more compassion for those who lost a loved one. My prayer life deepened for those who are spending a year of "firsts" without their loved one because I knew what those prayers meant to me.

As we prepare for a new year, let's look back at 2019 and see what God did for us. And then let's leave the concerns and clutter there and move to a new start. Let's put our hope in God. Psalm 39: 7, "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." God's plans for our future are good plans. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" We are also told that God's compassion is new every morning. Lamentations 3: 22-24, " Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” We are to trust our future with God!

As I say, it always comes back to trust. Proverbs 3: 5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Let's put the past behind us and press on! Philippians 3: 13-14, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." No matter what we have going on in our life God can handle it. Philippians 4: 6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

About 3400 years ago, Joshua was about to lead God's people into the promised land and he was afraid. He had a task before him that was too big for him. He knew he and his people would be facing dangers. He needed God's encouragement. We may be facing an illness, a death, a failed marriage, a job loss, a financial crisis, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack. God tells us to put our hope in Him. He is in charge and He promises to stay close to us. Matthew 28: 20, "...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." We were told again that He will never leave us or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31: 6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God will provide what we need when tribulation comes. Isaiah 43: 19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." God will use these events to mold us and make us who He has intended us to be. He also uses our own mishaps, failures, regrets and sin. But He does not want us to be bound to our past. When God saves us from our sin, He frees us from the guilt and shame of our former life. We are a new creations with a fresh beginning.

God's grace is sufficient. 2 Corinthians 12: 9, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." God will guide us if we let Him. Isaiah 58: 11, "The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Psalm 25: 5, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

As you can tell I did not have to write much for this blog. We have already been told how we move forward for 2020. Let's expect great things knowing that God wants the best for us. And let's trust Him with our past and present. Let's find our will in His will! Happy New Year!


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