Happy New Year

It’s a New Year! Forget the Past! Focus Forward!

Good-bye, 2020!  Welcome, 2021! It has been said that for every ending there is a new beginning and to that, I say “GOD I thank ya!” I am SO thankful we can receive NEW strength, NEW grace, and NEW mercy from God for each NEW day! I really don’t know where I would be or what state of mind I would be in today had it not been for God’s grace and strength sustaining me in 2020. Can I get an Amen?

FORGETTING THE PAST

As I step with some pep into this new year, I am choosing to focus on the ONE thing the apostle Paul wrote about in Phil.3:14…“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” 

The Passion Translation says it like this: “I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal…..

 

So often when we come upon a new year, we start setting new goals. Fitness goals. Financial goals. Relationship goals. Career goals. But Paul’s goal was to win a heavenly prize, eternal life. His goal was spiritual. And he encourages us to pursue this same goal with forward-focus, relentless passion, and reckless abandon (without care or regard for anything else). I am convinced that if I’m to become and do everything God has purposed for me to do and become, I have to forget the past. I have to stop looking back and longing for what was and has been. You know, “The good-ole days.”

 

I don’t know about you but this is easier said than done, right? Especially when what you had or experienced in the past was something good, meaningful, and enjoyable to you. A few years ago, I left some very close friends, a progressive and culturally diverse city and faith community that brought so much joy and meaning into my life.

 

FOCUSING FORWARD

But last year, God spoke to me about my continually looking back at the past, longing for what I once had. He spoke clearly to me and said “Don’t look back” (Genesis 19:17).

When we don’t understand why God has ended a particular relationship, job/career, or season in our lives that we enjoyed and thought was ‘supposed to be ‘THE PLAN’, we can find ourselves trying to hold on to those things because we fear for our future. We worry AND wonder “What’s next for me? Will the NEW THING in my future be as good as or better than what I had in the past? Y’all, this was me to the T! 

But what God showed me was that He wanted me to trust my endings, new beginnings and future to Him. He wanted me to trust in His promise to prosper me (Jer.29:11). He wanted me to trust that what lies ahead of me is greater than what lies behind me (Job 42:12).

New Year. New Hope. New Joy. New Expectancy.

Friend. I don’t know the things in your past you’ve been grieving about, dwelling on, longing for or trying to hold on to. But God wants you to stop looking back at what once was. He wants you to look ahead to your future with hope, joy, and expectancy because He has so much good in store for you (Prov.4:25; Heb.12:1-2). He wants you to trust that your latter days will be greater than your former days. He wants you to fix your eyes on the NEW THING he’s doing in your life TODAY (Is.43:19). He wants you to know that He has greater things, better things, in store for you if you can just start looking ahead with an attitude of faith and a heart FULL of hope for all the good yet to come into your life.
I don’t know about you, but this is the decision I’ve made for this new year. Will you join me in looking forward to your future with hope and greater God-confidence for all the good yet to come in your life? If so, let’s go!

 

 

 

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