A New Year

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.     

 —Isaiah 43:18-19


Happy New Year!  My hope is that as you are reading this, you are expectant for all that you will get to experience this year.  Whether you considered last year, a good year or not so good year, it’s over!  Too many times we get hung up in the past, but it’s gone.  There’s nothing you can do to affect the past… its history.  You can learn some lessons and then move on.  It’s time to treasure the gift of today and expect the best for tomorrow.

I am expecting this year to be brand new.  Not just a cliché, but truly a brand new day.  I am expecting to do things I have never done before and experience things I have not experienced before.  I am looking for the new thing that my heavenly Father has promised.  How about you?  Are you beginning this new year hopeful or doubtful?    You do know the choice is yours.  In Deuteronomy 30:19, it reads, “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life…”  See, the choice really is yours. 

Now, when I talk about hope, I don’t mean just wishing.  Hope is having an earnest expectation.  Are you earnestly expecting good to happen to you… to your loved ones… to those in your circle of influence?  Some may tell you not to get your hopes up, but believe me when I say, “You want your hope to be up!”  Romans 5:5, promises that hope does not disappoint us.  Romans 8:25, tells us that hope waits patiently.  Romans 12:12 instructs us to be joyful in hope.  Why am I talking so much about hope?  When we have an earnest expectation, we tend to see life differently and we tend to make better decisions.  It’s when we become hopeless, that our world looks bleak and we tend to make bad or harmful choices.

Remember that choosing life means choosing to be hopeful.  It means expecting good to happen in our lives.  It means expecting the best rather than the worst.  I challenge you to take an honest look at your outlook on life.  Are you allowing the news or the circumstances to determine whether you are up or down, hopeful or doubtful?  Or are you making a quality decision to choose life – to look for the best, to enjoy today and to expect good tomorrow?  I hope that you are choosing to see a new thing done in your life.  My prayer for you is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Remember to be REAL…