By Roger Campbell
Standing at the portal of a new year can be intimidating; especially if the past one has been disappointing. When this has happened, we’re likely to succumb to doubts and expect a repeat performance. Instead, why not let the past be past and our expectation of the future be uncluttered by unpleasant memories.
Many years ago, I wrote a column titled “Things May Turn Out Better Than You Think” intended to meet discouraged people and encourage them to look past their present problems to better tomorrows. The response was so strong to this column that it was reprinted as a tract and thousands of them have been placed in the hands of discouraged people.
Tomorrow may be terrific!
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’re likely to 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 another year as a junk collector.
A couple 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, DOWN-CAST, DOWN-TRODDEN, DRAINED and DUMBFOUNDED, closing their letter by adding that they were in the dumps.
And you thought you had problems.
You may not be encouraged at all by focusing on how much worse life could be or by realizing others are going through difficulties even more severe than those you experienced last year.
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, 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).
Are you having financial problems? Take those money worries to the Master and expect Him to provide for every need. Are family conflicts driving you to despair? Enlist the power of prayer and expect the Prince of Peace to change the atmosphere of your marriage and home. Do you long for your church to come alive and thrive? Start a prayer group dedicated to supporting your pastor and expect your prayers to bring a great awakening in your congregation.
When you embrace faith and reject fear, you can expect your greatest year!