New Beginnings with New Opportunities
The end of one year and the beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect and evaluate where we are and where God desires us to be. We should celebrate the accomplishments and victories while acknowledging the areas to be improved or discontinued in our life. The Lord has a way of revealing to us everything we need to know in each of these areas. His desire is that we never elevate ourselves as one who has “arrived” and no longer need any improvements. It is neither His desire that we “beat ourselves down” as a result of our personal failures or missed opportunities. We should look at this new year as new beginnings with new opportunities!
For some, 2023 was a challenging year. This may have come in the form of watching a loved one pass away suddenly or after extensive illness or being part of an employer downsize and losing your job. For some it was enduring strained relationships or having to experience a divorce. In the midst of every adversity there’s opportunity; for growth, maturity and even developing patience.
I like how the Lord reminds us through the writer James to expect adversity and trials while continuing to look to the Lord for growth opportunities through wisdom and patience in spite of the trials.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:2-5)
As we celebrate a new year with great expectations, we should also be prepared to learn through our trials that these testing are producing some wonderful qualities in us. Although we may not understand each opportunity that is presented immediately, we have a Savior who urges us to ask for wisdom and He is ready and willing to provide all we need.
Since we can’t change what has occurred in 2023, let’s strive to learn from our short comings and disappointments while making 2024 the best year ever!
May our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ richly bless you as you follow Him like never before!
In Our Lord’s Service,
Roy Newman, Senior Pastor