One the eve of a new year, there is always a lot of excitement. People gather together to do different things to herald the New Year. For some, it is a time to have a party and make a grand, drunken entrance into the New Year for others, it is a time to have fun watching the fireworks and screaming a feverish countdown into the New Year.
Yet, we have others, who gather together to worship and praise God into the new year, appreciating Him for what He had done in the outgoing year and trusting Him to meet their needs in the incoming one.
As a Christian, I fall into the category of those who love to spend those crucial hours in the presence of God. It makes no sense to people who do not know Him as they feel that it is supposed to be a time of celebration and excitement, rather than a time to go to church or gather to pray.
For me, every year is an opportunity to start over. No doubt, in the last year, we had our share of successes and failures. It seems to me that the more spiritual progress we make, the more obvious our mistakes become and the more painful the consequences of the bad choices that we make.
It should therefore not come as a surprise, that one who has enjoyed spiritual successes in the last year, would seek God more in the new year. In fact, if we are to take after Paul the Apostle, we would say with him,
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13-14)
I had a chat with my children recently as they prepared to resume school after the holidays. The scripture verse above was my reference point. I told them that while their efforts to excel last year was appreciated, they should not go back to school with the thoughts of last year’s success, as this would prevent them from being the best they can be. I also told them not to allow themselves to be terrified by the areas where they did not do so well because the fear would prevent them from surmounting the challenges.
I say the same to whoever is reading this right now. So you lost your job last year. So what? I lost my job too but today I am working at a place where I am doing better than the one I lost. You failed an exam last year? I have been there before. I put behind me the failure of the previous attempts and attacked the next exam as if I had never done it before.
You might say, “I let God down last year, I am not sure I want to put myself forward for any ministry in Church”. Welcome to the club, I let God down so many times I lost count but I came right back! The devil tried to prevent me by telling me I am not worthy to do anything to serve God. He however conveniently left out the fact that the reason we are counted worthy is not what we did but what Christ did for us!
A new year gives us the opportunity for starting over. Seize that opportunity; do not let the past deter you. My prayer is that as you start over, you will achieve more this year than you did in the last year.
The reality is that you will have your share of failures as well but these failures should not stop you. Rather, they should be launch pads to greater achievement in different aspects of your life.
Happy New Year everyone.
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 as a Worship Leader, Home Group Leader and Bible Teacher in his local church. He also speaks at invited events. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org