Look up, look ahead
Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22-23 say: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If God’s mercies are new every morning, think how much newer those blessings could be every year. Each year, God offers us the opportunity for a brand, new start, regardless of how many failures, disappointments, frustrations and even successes we had the previous year.
Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 says: 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.
Forgetting our past is easier said than done, because our memories (particularly painful ones), often have a very strong hold on us, dragging us back, even when we desire to move forward. Hence the word, ‘strain’, that Paul uses in this passage.
To strain means to force oneself to make an unusually great effort. This means we must intentionally and purposefully forge ahead to create the future we desire. We cannot make meaningful progress if we continue to look back. If we failed in any way in 2022, God is willing and able to forgive and release us into a glorious future in 2023. Isaiah 43: 25 says: ‘I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and remember your sins no more.’ Earlier on in that same passage, we hear these words: ‘Do not dwell on the past, see I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?’ (Isaiah 43: 18-19).
So, look forward to great things in 2023. Stop saying the best days are over. They are not. Stop saying the former days are better because greater days are coming. The best is yet to come! God has a purpose for your life and that purpose will not be frustrated if you stop looking back, look up to God and look ahead! He who sits on the throne says He is making everything new (Revelation 21:5).
Happy new year!