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Jan 15, 2020, 12:33 PM

The smiling faces, the hugs, tons of well-intentioned wishes and joyous laughter -- common worldwide when the calendar year changes – do signify the breadth of delight and happiness derived from having crossed over from 2019 to 2020. A good many people had anticipated it would be well; unfortunately, not all who looked forward to this event were able to cross the demarcation line to celebrate the dawn of a New Year, because their expectations were cut off -- for reasons only God the Almighty knows best. However, for those who have made it through, a novel experience begins as we step into a new dawn. As we usher in this New Year, we as Christians should not be bothered about what the future holds for us because we know who holds the future – the Lord Jesus, the Christ – and we trust Him to see us through.

Discharge the heavy load

One thing we must not do after crossing over is to carry our heavy burdens with us. No, the right attitude would be to shed them as a snake would its skin. We cannot allow ourselves to be dragging the same load with us again as we look for new options open to us. It will amount to putting new wine in old wineskins. Meaningless! (Matthew 9:17) The perspective must change in order not to be bugged with excess luggage. 

Systematically shelving all our worries and concerns and starting all over again will bring fresh ways and insights of approach that will provide lasting solutions. We need to turn over a new leaf in the books of our lives, in a bid to start all over again.

Furthermore, this would be an appropriate time to major on your minors. Sit back and recount how the Lord has blessed you. ‘Count your blessings one by one and see what the Lord has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what Lord has done.’ The words of this song endorse the fact that we are embarking on a new beginning, a glorious starting point.

Of course at this time also, many will line up a number of resolutions – as is the case at the start of every year – knowing full well that they cannot be kept. While it may feel good to make a note of them, experience has shown that it is not feasible. We cannot keep track of or meticulously ensure that we stick by them. Rather than heap piles of futile resolutions, I suggest that we stand on the word of God whose track record is eternal. One of the characteristics of the word of God is that it has never failed. The onus is not on us to make His promises good; God will have to watch over His word to perform it. “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled. (Jeremiah 1:12) God’s word has stood the test of time since the beginning of the world. He identifies Himself with His word – the two are inseparable.

The Bible teaches that grass withers and flowers fade but the word of God remains forever. (Isaiah 40:8)  Let the promises of God be our standard for all the decisions we make and whatever endeavours we embark on – if we want to succeed. His advice to His servant Joshua was: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)

The word of God is an essential tool for growth and success in our earthly journey. It ensures life and promises prosperity. Remember God had categorically stated that He is not the kind of person who makes false promises. “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?” (Numbers 23:19) God will do the necessary to back His word – at all times.

We must develop therefore the art of speaking the opposite of what we see; by so doing we declare what we want to see. It is not a denial of our circumstances but a question of aligning ourselves with the word of God which says ‘Let the weak say I am strong, the poor say I am rich.’ (Joel 3:10) What then comes out of our mouths? What do we confess? A negative statement will yield only negative results; a positive pronouncement, positively.

In 2020, God is inviting us to reason together with Him – for His mercies endure forever. Why? “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.....” (Isaiah 1:19) In fact, they are new every morning. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Let us begin to speak life into our dead circumstances. Dare! For only then can our circumstances cease to overwhelm us.

The entire Israelite army was menaced and harassed by a Philistine warrior named Goliath. For forty days they pitched camps and each day Goliath would challenge the Israelite army to a fight. But the latter would cower and retreat because of fear - not until young David a shepherd boy came to its rescue. “This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” (1 1 Samuel 17:46) he threatened the giant.

Young David dared and won a trophy that surpassed his greatness and glory thus far. Imagine if he had been intimidated by the boastings and the size of Goliath, the Children of Israel would have suffered defeat and would have been taken captive. 

This 2020, one wise step to take is leave it all to the Lord for guidance; listen to His sweet soft voice to lead through the paths of righteousness and you will make your way clear through this maze of activities – so that His name will be glorified in you. Amen.