Standing at the portal of a new year can be intimidating; especially if the past one has been painful. We’re tempted then to expect a repeat performance during the year just arriving. But grieving over disappointing yesterdays robs us of the joyful anticipation of our tomorrows which is a vital ingredient in making the future all it can be.
I once wrote a column entitled Things May Turn Out Better Than You Think that was intended to enable troubled people to look past their present problems to better days ahead. The response by readers was so strong that this column was reprinted as a tract that has been placed in the hands of thousands of fearful people.
The title of this tract is true!
Tomorrow may be terrific and this may be your greatest year, but for this to be true you may have to change your definition of greatness.
Unless you resist, you may be influenced by those who associate greatness with getting. This could cause your future to revolve around what you can accumulate and sentence you to just another year as a junk collector.
A family once wrote to me from Alaska saying they had become so disappointed about how things were going in their lives that they were going through the big “Ds,” feeling Discouraged, Depressed, Defeated, Dejected, Disturbed, Downcast, Drained And Dumbfounded, closing their letter by adding that they were in the dumps.
And you thought you had problems!
How can you trade your fears for faith and your bad memories for good expectations?
Try looking up! That’s what the Psalmist did on one of his dark days.
Refusing to surrender to despair and negativism he said he had decided to turn his eyes heavenward, writing: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2).
George Mueller of Bristol, England, who became known for his great work of providing for orphans without ever asking for financial help from others, said trials are not the enemies of faith but opportunities to prove God’s faithfulness. This enabled him to start each day expecting his Lord to come through for him regardless of the difficulties he was facing.
Are you fearful about financial problems during this New Year? Take those money problems to the Master and expect Him to provide for every need you’re facing. Are family conflicts driving you to despair? Enlist the power of prayer to change the atmosphere of your home this year.
In his book, God is My Delight, noted devotional writer W. Phillip Keller, wrote:
“Steadily, but surely, I have come to realize that every interaction, every command, every principle He has established for my ultimate good.”
Another has simply said, “God is good all the time!”
So what are we worried about?
When we embrace faith and reject fear, we can expect our greatest year.