New Years’s resolutions are something that most people make. Whether they write them down or just mentally record them, that is what they are hoping to achieve in the coming year. Some of those resolutions may be relating to weight loss, exercise, time management or better relationships with family and others. One thing that these resolutions tell me is that a lot of us want this year to be better than the last one.
I don’t know about you but 2016 was a challenging year for me. My parents both had medical issues, a lot of friends passed away and I had my own health concerns. Maybe 2016 was your best year yet. But no matter what last year was like, it is now time to move forward. One of the scriptures that has been helpful to me is on Philippians 3:13b. It states that I need to be forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward to those things which lay ahead.
It is a challenge for me to forget those things from last year but God says I must if I want to move forward. Those things were just challenges that I faced in that time but they don’t have to define my future. They help me to grow into the future but don’t define it. So how does that process of forgetting work. These are my steps:
1. Knowing where my trust lies. If I trust in the effect that those things have had on my life, they become my trust. But my trust always needs to be in God. God was there for me last year and He will be there for me this year. He is the only constant in my years.
2. Don’t hold on to the memories tightly but let them be just that – a memory – a point of reflection on how I together with God came through those challenges. Memories will always be there and God tells us to remember what He has done for us. What we can’t do is to live in the memories. We can’t rehearse them and allow ourselves to go back to that painful or happy place. God has so much more in store for us and if we stay in our past, we won’t embrace our future.
3. Know that God has good plans for my life still and to keep going. Last year was last year. It is not this year. It is time now to move forward and to look with expectation on what will happen this year. We need to be like children on Christmas morning. They see all the gifts under the tree but until they open them they don’t know what’s inside. They are not reflecting on last year’s gifts but only on the expectation of what the new gifts are.
This year we need to go forward – to wait and look expectantly for the gifts and experiences that God has for us this year. Don’t dread the year but look forward to it. Some didn’t make it but you did. Write down what things happen this year that are good and at the end of the year pull them out and read them. This will remind you of God’s goodness and the fact that each year is a time to move on. Have a great year and keep living the life God intended for you to live!