Christian Living

Spiritual Life

It Is a New Year: Rejoice!

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23 (NLT)

Matthew celebrates the prophecy first spoken by Isaiah hundreds of years before. (Isaiah 7:14) Immanuel, God With Us. As we look ahead to a new year we look with excitement and anticipation. God is with us! He told us through His prophet Isaiah, and He told us again in the Gospel of Matthew. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (NLT) He was with us last year, and we know He is with us this year, so get excited!

I was reminded of this truth recently when I received word that my job would be changing in the New Year. The announcement meant new management, new challenges and new assignments. My immediate reaction was one of fear and maybe a little dread. After all there are many unknowns. This is new and different. What if I don’t perform as I have in the past? What if I don’t produce? The “what if” thoughts began to march in my head one by one like a colony of ants foraging for food at a summer picnic. I knew it was not productive, because it made me question my value.

We all face uncertainty. God knows we cannot go it alone. He wants us to take one day at a time hand-in-hand with Him. That is why He tells us in Matthew 6:34 not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has worries of its own. Right before Jesus speaks these words, He reminds us that God knows everything we need. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, He encourages us to seek Him. Keeping this perspective is important. God knows what we need. He loves us. He has a plan for us. He sent His son Immanuel, God with us!

As I began to focus on the promise that God is with me and is with me in this New Year, He brought a verse to mind. Jeremiah 6:16, “This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, Godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NLT)

God reminded me to look back for a moment. Had He ever let me down? Had He not called me to my current job? If things were changing, would He not be with me as He has always been with me in the past? Whether good times or challenging times, smooth sailing or stormy seas, He had been right with me every step.

Standing in the ways and asking for the old paths reminded me to look back and reflect. As I did, I was immediately comforted. It turned things around for me, and I now face the New Year and my new job with excitement and joy. He is with me. He will equip me and guide me because it is His promise.

The same goes for you. As you stand in the way of this New Year, see and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Do not focus and obsess about tomorrow. Rejoice, He is with you.

Copyright © 2017 Anne Ferrell Tata. Used by permission.

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