Psalm 39:4, “LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days that I may know how frail I am”
Once again we are getting closer to the beginning of another New Year. It’s a time when families gather together to bring in the New Year. It’s a time when we make resolutions for the coming year. Some of the most popular resolutions would be spending more time with family and friends; shedding some of those extra pounds put on during the holiday; getting fit with a regular exercise program; getting out of debt and better organized, and enjoying life more and learning something new. It’s also a time when many magazines and newspapers chronicle the best and worst of the past 12 months and offer predictions for the coming 365 days. If a news magazine were to do a feature on your life, what would it say about the best and worst of your year as a follower of Jesus Christ? Based on recent trends, what might it predict about your spiritual life in the months ahead?
For me and probably for you, the previous twelve months have been mixtures of experiences which included joy and grief, laughter and tears, success and failure, pleasure and pain, which is a part of our everyday life. We’ve also celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, as well as mourned the loss of those we love and cherish. The unexpected twists and turns of life can so easily discourage us, or they can cause us to draw closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and depend more fully on Him and not self.
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836 – 1879), was an English religious poet and hymn writer who had the right perspective for her life. She was confident of her heavenly Father’s gracious purpose for her life, and she knew that He would be with her always. These truths moved her to write the following: Another year is dawning: Dear Father, let it be, in working or in waiting, another year with Thee; Another year of progress, another year of praise, another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace, another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast, another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest. Another year of service, of witness for Thy love; another year of training for holier work above. Another year is dawning: Dear Father, let it be, on earth or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
My brethren, the times, seasons and years, including this coming New Year is in the hands of God our Creator (Psalm 31:15). Ray Stedman a longtime California pastor once told his congregation, “On New Year’s Eve we realize more than at any other time in our lives that we can never go back in time. We can look back and remember, but we cannot retrace a single moment of the year that is past.” And so it is with us my brethren! We need to make the above words written by Frances Ridley Havergal our prayer. As we enter this coming New Year we need to rededicate ourselves as faithful and obedient servants to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by submitting all of our plans to the Lord and depending on Him to help us accomplish all that He wants us to do.
God holds the future in His hands
With grace sufficient day by day;
Through good or ill He gently leads,
If we but let Him have His way. – Rohrs
Lord, we know that our life on this earth is so short compared to eternity. Bless us, fill us, and use us to tell of Your goodness, love, mercy, and grace to a lost world, for as long as we can, until You take us home to be with You. Amen.
The “what” of our future is determined by the “Who” of eternity.