(Reprint from TC Weekly Articles
My first 2023 thoughts, “A new year – I am still here!” Yea! My goal is to live to be 100 years old. So far – So good! As we face the new year let’s compare it to the time Israel had the wilderness behind them (2022) and Jordan before them (2023). The Lord commanded Joshua to “Go forward and cross over Jordan into Canaan (Promised Land)… that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore… the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel” (Josh. 3:4-7). They closed doors that were “behind” them and opened doors that were “before” them.
As we face the new year, let’s compare it to Paul as he faced those things before him. He learned to close past doors and open new doors of opportunities. “But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, (Phil. 3:13-14). What was the one thing he did? He forgot the bad things in the past and focused on the future. He unfocused on earthly things and focused on eternal things. He continued to press forward toward God, Heaven, and eternity. You cannot change the past, but you can change the future.
The door of 2022 has closed, and the door of 2023 is now before us. As Israel, we also realize that we have not passed this way heretofore. We now face a new, unknown normal that is absolutely abnormal. Adjust is a must! As Joshua, learn that the Lord was behind us in 2022, and the Lord is before us in 2023. He continues to direct both our steps and stops (Psa.37:23; Prov. 3:5-6). The song says, “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.” He promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Evangelist Fred Brown often said, “There are times in all our lives that we need a new beginning.” As you begin this New Year, do you need a new beginning? It’s time to close past doors of remorse and regrets. It’s time to open new doors of reaping and rejoicing. Remember the new year brings new renewals, new dreams, new beginnings, and new hope!
As Paul, forget what is behind you and reach forth to what is before you – A new beginning (Phil. 3:13-14). As you cross over, don’t count the days, but make the days count. Don’t live a life full of days, but live days full of life. Make the days before you the best you have ever known. “This is the day (year) which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa.118:24). This day, rejoice and shout, “A new year, and I am still here! Yea!”
Nevertheless – He Leads On – “He leads us on by paths we do not know, Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow. Though oft we faint and falter on the way, Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day. Yet when the clouds are gone, We know He leads us on. He leads us on through all the unquiet years, Past all hopes, doubts, and fears. He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze, Of losses, sorrows and o’er clouded days. We know His will is done. And still He leads us on” – N.L. Zinzendorf.
2022 is now Gone! Nevertheless in 2023 – He Leads On !