It’s hard to believe that another year has already passed. Maybe this year has been full of blessings and good changes for you, or perhaps this was the hardest year of your life. Whether 2016 was an easy or difficult year, the Word of God holds many promises that give us hope for each day and each new year. Here are some things we can all be focusing on as we enter 2017:
Isaiah 46:9-10 says, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” We serve a God who is in complete control. He has all of our days numbered and planned, and nothing is a surprise to Him. When we are anxious about what the new year may bring, we can rest assured that no matter what happens, it is all under God’s guidance and control, and nothing can change His plans.
The fact that God is sovereign and in control would be terrifying if it wasn’t for the fact that we know that God is also good. Psalm 119:68 states, “You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.” It is literally impossible for God to do evil – it is simply not in His character. So, we can be sure that whatever He brings into our lives is good – even if our definition of good doesn’t line up with His. Oftentimes, we think of good as being happy and easy, and sometimes this is the case, but we can find God’s definition of good in Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” God’s purpose for His children is that we become more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ. This is God’s ultimate definition of good, because it fulfills our purpose of pleasing Him and bringing Him glory (2 Corinthians 5:9)! In this pursuit do we find ourselves most at peace and satisfied.
Psalm 86:15 says, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” God is always with His children, and nothing in our lives goes unnoticed by Him. He is faithful to be intimately at work in every situation and area of our lives, and nothing can change His love for us (Romans 8:38-39). We can rejoice that we serve a God who is faithful in His love and is perfect in faithfulness. Praise the Lord for verses like 2 Timothy 2:13: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” God is not like ourselves or anyone else in our lives. Humans are flawed and not always faithful, but God is always perfect faithful even when we are not. How amazing is that?
If you are feeling anxious about the New Year, take heart! These are but a few of the many, many amazing attribute of God that you can cling to as you enter into the unknown. Our God never changes, and His character as described in the Bible is the same today. Spend some time researching some of His characteristics, and rest in the arms of our loving, sovereign, good, faithful Savior.