“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
Each year about this time, as Christmas is behind us and the new year almost here, we begin looking ahead to a new beginning. As I was praying yesterday about the subject for this week’s Thankful Thursday post for God-Living Girls with Chronic IllnessTr, I sensed God speaking to my heart that it was to be on letting go of the successes and failures, the joys and sorrows of 2018 and moving forward to embrace the will of God for 2019.
Another of my favorite Scriptures this time of year is the last part of Philippians 3:13-14.
“… forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Both Isaiah 43 and Philippians 3 speak of two things: forgetting or letting go of the past, and embracing the new thing God has planned for us. As we prepare our hearts for the new year that begins in just a few days, I encourage you to prepare your heart for what lies ahead in the coming year. And to be ready to embrace the new thing God is desiring to do in your life in 2019.
Remember, God is sovereign, He is in control and His will is good, not to be feared. As 2018 comes to an end, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, surrendered to the will of God for your life, and prepare your heart to willing move into the new thing He has for you in the New Year.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Today, let’s give thanks for what God has done in our lives during 2018, and embrace what He has for us in 2019.
- Thank you, God, for the uncertainties I’ve experienced in 2018. They have deepened my trust in You as we prepare to walk an unknown path in 2019.
- Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed during this year. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go. Help me to be sensitive to your leading in 2019 and to not resist Your good purposes.Thank you, Lord, for the alone times as I’ve walked through 2018. They have forced me to lean in closer to You as I face a new year of unknowns.
- Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced this year. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain. With Your presence and Your strength, I can embrace the future You have for me.
- Thank You, God, for the times during 2018 when I haven’t been able to control my circumstances. They have reminded me that You are sovereign and on the throne. And that will not change in 2019. Your purposes will be accomplished, and I can trust they will be for my good and your glory.
Now, it’s your turn. Feel free to share one or more things you are thanking God for as 2018 comes to an end and you embrace what God has for you in the coming year.
Although not as devastating as your year, our extended family has had a year of ups and downs. My 48 y.o. niece had a massive stroke in February and at first we feared for her life. She was paralysed down her right side and lost her speech. The gains she has made during the year are nothing short of amazing [with much help from many therapists] although she still has a long way to go. Her mother, my sister, has a new burden. They do not live together, but my sister is the one who needs to fight for the things my niece needs. I am my sister’s release valve.
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I know this has been a struggle for your sister – and for you because you care about your sister and niece. But as you’ve shared with me during this year, the progress has been amazing. Continued prayers for your sister and niece, as well as for you Helen. Hope you had a special Christmas and that your new year will be blessed by God.
Thanks Barbara, and for you too. I meant to say regarding the Philippians reading, when we were doing a Bible study some years ago, a friend commented on the similar verse in Hebrews 12:1 that we are to run the race set before us. Like a runner does not look in the next lane but looks straight ahead in her own lane, so we should not compare ourselves with what others are achieving or what God has called them to do, only what he want of us.
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