Twenty-sixteen was a challenging year for many, including myself. But I will not dwell on the past. Instead, my mindset will be like that of the beloved apostle Paul, when he declared. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Like Paul, I compare the Christian life to a race; a marathon. You never know what’s coming up next. Some days it’s like a piece of cake, other days the obstacles are more than you can handle. And as long as you continue to press on you will never be comfortable. The enemy is your competitor, and he is much smarter and trickier than you are.
Some Christians will tell you that their troubles ended when they accepted Christ. But that’s so contrary to what Jesus and the apostles taught us. As Christians, we are vulnerable to the schemes of the enemy, and we will fail sometimes, but we must not quit. If anything, we must continue to press on toward the goal to win the prize.
So, my friends, as we usher in the new year, let’s not become complacent, conceited or self-righteous. Rather, let us be humble at heart as the beloved apostle was when he wrote. “Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet, (the prize). But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. So, I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Happy New Year!
Who is in control?
God is in control. Whether you believe it or not. Despite your troubles–your pain and suffering. He is is Sovereign. He is the same Yesterday, today and forever.
He was in control when the Pharaoh held the Israelite captive in Egypt, and He was in control when the exodus happened. He was in control when manna miraculously fell from the skies to sustain those who wanted meat.
Therefore, hold on to God’s unchanging hands. He will reward you for your steadfastness. It is better to lose the earthly battle and win the heavenly one.
“Here is what James wrote to Jewish believers who, by then were scattered abroad: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith gets tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord because they have divided their loyalty between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do” (James 1:2-8).