Pressing On

 

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on. – Philippians 3:13–14 (NIV)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I stand on the threshold of a new year, I recall 2015. It sure brought a heap of the unexpected — and not the pleasant kind. In the midst of the turmoil, I kept seeing the future as a big question mark.

Then it hit me: The future IS a big question mark. A good thing, too. Because if I’d known about all the troubles I’d confront in 2015, it would have been pretty depressing.

But 2015 is behind me, and it’s time to let it go and reach into 2016. I don’t know what the New Year will bring, but this I do know: My God is already there, and I can count on Him to see me through.

First, I can count on His constant, abiding presence. “My Presence will go with you,” He assures me (Exodus 33:14). And again in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” And Jesus promised, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

Second, I can count on His power in the times I need strength beyond myself. “My grace is sufficient for you,” He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So I know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), for He IS my strength (Psalm 46:1).

Third, I can count on His divine purpose—that it’s good and underlies all that will happen to me. “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). “For I know the plans I have for you—plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He’ll turn the negatives in positives: “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”(Romans 8:28).

Fourth, I can count on His protection. He is a shield around me (Psalm 3:3). As my keeper, He watches over me (Psalm 121), and He commands His angels to guard me (Psalm 91:11—in fact read the entire psalm). In stormy times, He is my refuge (Psalm 46, Deuteronomy 33:27). “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for (He is) with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Fifth, I can count on His provision. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said (Matthew 6:34). “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Because “the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). God will supply all my needs “according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19).

Sixth, I can count on His promises. “Know that the LORD your God . . . is the faithful God” (Deuteronomy 7:9). “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). “Thy steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, thy faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5). “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23).

And finally (not really, but for the sake of brevity), I can count on His unconditional love. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38–39).

I don’t know what 2016 will bring, but this I do know: God, and His Word, will comfort me in the hurting times, give me peace in the troubled times, guide me in the decision times, be my refuge in the stormy times, and bolster my faith in the uncertain times.

He’ll do the same for you.

Thank you, Lord, that I will not walk through the New Year alone, for You are with me today, tomorrow, and always. Amen.

 

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 139

religious-happy-new-year-greetings-1

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