Thank God it's a new year. Yet many of us get discouraged with the "things" that did not go our way in previous years. We get discouraged by the fact that one or more goals did not materialize or our efforts didn't seem to pay off. Maybe last year was the year your relationship broke down, a loved one died, you failed your exams, faced a setback (e.g. a health or financial challenge), you did not get that job/promotion you wanted, you are still single with no prospective partner in sight, and the list goes on. But you know what, it's a new year! And regardless of what you went through last year, I am here to tell you that ALL IS WELL!
Whilst life may have thrown you many challenges, the fact remains that you made it and you are here now. Trust me, many would have liked to be in your position but are no longer with us. And the special gift that life affords us is the opportunity to get back in the race and try again. For where there is life, there is hope.
So I encourage you embrace this year with both hands and great expectation of what God can and will do. For this to happen, you have to let go of the past. In addition to this, you will need to eliminate all the emotional and spiritual junk you may have accumulated along the way. As Jesus said, you can't pour new wine into old skins (Matthew 9:17). By doing this, you make room for the new opportunities in your life. And so, if you are keen to make the best of this year, ponder on the following simple suggestions:
Reflect On The Past Year
Consider what attitudes, beliefs and behaviours have you picked up along the way Do they all line up with Gods Word? Is there room for change? Also, ponder on whether there are any lessons to be learnt especially if you found yourself going around the same mountain, time and time again. Ask God to give you special insight into this.
Change Your Approach
There is a secular notion that suggests that doing the same thing time and time again, whilst expecting the different results, is madness. Of course, this does not apply to the likes of prayer, fasting, studying Gods Word, etc but do you need to change your approach especially if it is not working for you? For example, it could be that you have been praying about a situation yet God is waiting for you to take a step of faith in the right direction. Or it could be that you have been going in one direction and God wants you to go in another. Maybe you need to increase your time with God and/or put some structure to it (as opposed to a lackadaisical approach). I encourage you to ask God for direction on this (Psalms 25:8-9, 32:8-9).
Get The Support You Need
We all need support at some stage in our journeys and God has made plenty available. This could be in the form of trusted friends, family, a support group, Church, a coach, counsellor, mentor, pastor, networks, and much more. Implement a support mechanism to get you to where God wants you to be. Trust me, no man is an island and God did not create us to live in isolation. In fact, He puts people into our lives as a physical extension of His love for us. Whatever you do, don't try and run this race alone. For you may find there is no one around to lift you up when you are down (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
In closing, remember this is a new year with new opportunities. So ensure you are in the best shape (mentally, physically and spiritually) so you do not miss out on the opportunities God sends your way.