8 Ways to View the Coming Year
By Filoiann Wiedenhoff
“Brothers, 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” (Philippians 3:13-14).
When Christmas ends we eagerly await the words “Happy New Year!” My best friend and I have a tradition we’ve done every year for the last five years, usually around the end of December. We go to our favorite beach spot where we talk and pray about the past year and look ahead to the new year.
We ponder and discuss the interesting occurrences of the past year: the good times, the bad times, the frustrating times, and the fun times. We share what valuable lessons we learned from our experiences, what God showed us, and how He was faithful through all of it.
We do this as closure to one year and an opening to the next. After we have laughed and cried a-while, we begin to look forward with great excitement wondering what God has for us this coming year. What new experiences will we go through and what new lessons will we learn? It’s all fresh and new and exciting!
Doing this helps us to view each year as a season, understanding that God is sovereign and provides new experiences that will make us more like Christ. There were times we went through seasons of grief and there were times we experienced seasons of joy.
It helps us remember that God is in control and that we are constantly growing as His children. He knows the plans He has for us; plans of new wisdom, insight, and understanding that He wants to impart to us if we will allow Him to.
It also gives us a fresh outlook on the coming year, enabling us to leave the past where it belongs. We can learn from it and move forward into the future with opened hearts and minds to receive whatever God has for us.
Here are eight ways to view the coming year and every year as a year of:
1. New Beginnings
Start out the new year with a fresh point of view to new experiences, memories, and blessings, having an open mind and heart to wherever the Lord may take you, with full assurance and confidence that He is with you (Matt. 28:19-20).
2. New Possibilities
There is no limit to what God can do in your life; nothing is impossible with God. God opens doors that no man can shut and closes doors that no man can open. With God the possibilities are endless when we live according to His will (Phil. 4:13).
3. New Plans
Every year is a new season. Pray about what God has planned for you and be willing to walk by faith in obedience as you follow His leading. Remember that His plans are always for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11-13).
4. New Purpose
God always has a purpose for what you will experience. He has a reason for what He allows in your life, and through it you can trust Him completely (Prov. 1:3-5).
5. New Provisions
The Bible says not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Trust in your Heavenly Father who knows everything you need, who is your God and your Provider. He is faithful and He will do it (Matt. 6:25-34).
6. New Growth
When we are willing to let go and let God work in and through us, He will always stretch us and grow us. Continue to grow in His Word and your relationship with Him. Pray for God to mold you and make you pliable in the Potter’s hand. Then watch the Master Craftsman work on His masterpiece - you!
7. New Wisdom
With new experiences and lessons come new wisdom and insight. Make it a priority to seek out wisdom as a hidden treasure or fine gold. Proverbs says that wisdom will set a garland of grace on your head and she will present you with a crown of splendor (Prov. 4:7-9).
8. Renewed Peace
As you go through new experiences and new adventures, good or bad, I encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Christ. He will give you rest and peace because He is our peace and He loves you and cares for you deeply (John 16:33).
Let us give thanks to the Lord for getting us through another year as we look forward to what He has in store for us. He is faithful and worthy to be praised!