New Year Reminder

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

In this passage, the Israelites were in transition, moving from forty years of wandering in the wilderness to entering the long-awaited Promised Land. That is what it meant for them. For us today, we find ourselves in the first days of a New Year. This time of the year naturally brings to mind thoughts of both yesterday and tomorrow. We think about yesterday and what we should learn from it in terms of failures and successes. We think about tomorrow and how we should lean towards it with feelings of hope and promise.

I believe in new beginnings! A new year affords us an opportunity to start over again. We should begin this year saying: “This year is going to be different…here is what I am going to do…” As I mentioned last week, this is not a matter of New Resolutions, but New Devotions. These are matter of the heart and must be empowered by the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts. It is the truth “the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” that empowers you so that you can be not terrified and discouraged. As we face 2024, He enables us to be strong and courageous in our changes and challenges.

One thing to remember: If we are going to do this, it is going to take faith. The apostle Paul said: “Live by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt and began their long trek through the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, God invited them to walk by faith. He put a pillar of cloud out before them, which they were to follow. The pillar of cloud may have seemed to them like a flimsy, fluffy successor to the solid, fixed pyramid that they had known in Egypt. However, that was the point. God wanted them to learn to walk by faith, not by sight. As they journeyed the cloud went before them to mark the way. When they were finally entering the Promised Land, there was no cloud. They had to put into practice the lesson of the last forty years and it was to walk by faith. We need to walk by faith as we journey through this New Year. As we do, God will go before us and give us His power and guidance. This will bring to our lives strength and confidence!

So have faith in God as you move out in this New Year—knowing that “the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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