One year rolls away and another one rolls in, all within a second. I watched in fascination as countries around the world waited with bated breath as the seconds counted towards midnight, ushering in the new year 2013. The year was greeted with fireworks and shouts of jubilation as everyone congratulated one another, exchanging wishes and prayers for the New Year.
Every year has its own share of good and bad events – 2012 was not an exception. While others would say it was a good year for them, for many others, it was a year filled with sadness, sorrow and difficulties.
The reality is that 2013 will not be a lot different from previous years in terms of the events that will take place. As it happened in the previous years, there will be things to celebrate and there will be sad and shocking events as well. Already, this early in the year, the sad events have already started. This week, a 13-year old girl died when a car that was being pursued by the police ran a car containing a family killing the girl and injuring the rest of the family.
In the light of this reality, what comfort and encouragement do we have as Christians? Paul the Apostle gives us a clue. “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil 3: 12 – 14 )
From these few passages of scripture, we learn a great deal from one who recorded a tremendous amount of success in ministry. Paul wrote a most of the epistles in the New Testament and he undertook more missionary work than the Apostles who were with Jesus and witnessed His ministry. Yet in spite of all these successes, Paul said, ‘I have not yet achieved my ultimate goal’.
How was the previous year for you? Was it marked by success after success? I personally have every reason to give thanks to God for all my accomplishments in the last one year. To God’s glory, I was able to accomplish all that I had in mind to accomplish in 2012. However, learning from Paul, this is not a time to revel in last year’s accomplishments. A new year has began and there are goals to accomplish, not just ours but the ones God expects of us. Have you taken time to ask of God what He wants you to do for Him this year? It is not late, you can be sure He will reveal it to you if you ask.
On the flip side, was 2012 a year you would rather forget? You are not alone. I still remember that entire families were wiped out in the plane crash, which occurred in Nigeria on June 3rd 2012. It was a day of mourning in that country and for people abroad whose families were lost in that crash. I personally suffered the loss of a dear friend in that aircrash. There are others who suffered job losses, sickness and various economic distresses.
From Paul in the above passage, I encourage you, ‘Press on!’. The last year may have been unfavourable but it does not mean that this year will be the same. You cannot do much about the memories, in fact some memories are good to keep, especially those that are beneficial, however, do not allow the failures of the past to cripple your ability to move forward. Paul says, ‘I strive..’ To strive means to push forward. This presupposes that there are obstacles to be overcome. As you keep pushing, the power of God I you will give you the impetus to keep moving forward until every obstacle is removed and you able to grasp the object of your goal!
Keep on pressing onwards, the events of the past belong…you guessed right, ‘in the past!’ There are new goals to accomplish and as you seek God’s face this New Year, He will reveal His plan to you and as you aim towards fulfilling His purpose, you can be sure that He will do His part.
I wish you the many blessings that the year 2013 has in store.
Happy New Year!
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves in the worship team in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address,firstname.lastname@example.org