3 Reminders as You Enter the New Year
Don’t Worry About the Year 2017
Don’t worry about what you will eat, drink, and wear this year. Your Father in heaven knows your needs. Instead of worrying, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and all your needs will be given to you according to his will (Matt. 6:33, New King James Version).
After all, why worry about the unknown future of 2017 when you can pray? “O what peace we often forfeit / O what needless pain we bear / All because we do not carry / Everything to God in prayer.” Yes, what will take place this year is not known to us, but for us believers in Christ, we know that God is causing all things to work together for his glory and for our good (Rom. 8:28–29). And the word good in this passage ultimately refers to our conformity to the image of Christ. The bitter events of 2017 will only make us better believers. Let us therefore welcome the New Year without fear.
Don’t Boast About the Year 2017
Don’t brag about what you will do in 2017; you don’t know what will happen this year (Prov. 27:1). “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14, New International Version).
Don’t act as if you can control the future. You are not in control of everything. Don’t think that you can do and get whatever you want this year. You are not all-powerful. Don’t be overconfident about your future plans. You are not all-knowing. You don’t even know if you are still alive tomorrow. Thus learn to qualify your plans by saying, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15, New International Version). Nevertheless, no matter what happens, God’s will is always best for us because he is all-wise and all-good.
Don’t Waste the Year 2017
You waste this year when you use it only for your own pleasure. Remember the rich fool who said to his soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will things be which you have provided?” (Luke 12:19–20, New King James Version).
What a wasted life this rich fool had! He used his time, energy, and resources only for himself. With God’s help, let’s spend all the days of 2017 for God’s praise. Let’s also seize all God-given opportunities this year to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal. 6:10, New American Standard Bible). Remember, “Only one life, so soon it will pass / Only what’s done for Christ will last.” A life spent in the service of Christ is the most meaningful life that anyone can live in this world.
Have a blessed New Year!
Rev. Brian G. Najapfour is the pastor of Dutton United Reformed Church, Caledonia, MI, and author of The Very Heart of Prayer: Reclaiming John Bunyan’s Spirituality (2012) and Jonathan Edwards: His Doctrine of and Devotion to Prayer (2013). He and his wife, Sarah, have three children, Anna, James, and Abigail. He blogs at biblicalspiritualitypress.org.