HOW SHOULD WE TREAT THE NEW YEAR?
P. Samuel Manoharam
Live each day for God and God alone.
Let me wish, at the very outset, all the readers of the God-blessed Light of Life Magazine, a God-planned, God-directed and God-guided New Year, making their hopes brighter, their health better, their burdens lighter, their lives sweeter and finally, their faith in God stronger, giving them a stout heart to bear their own burdens, a willing heart to bear the burdens of others and a believing heart to cast all their burdens upon God only.
With every year ending and the dawning of every New Year, we have crossed another milestone in our journey of life. Our thoughts dwell on what we have achieved or failed to achieve in our lives by the process of introspection. Should we not examine each and every decision we made, and each and every action we took, to ascertain where we failed or how we failed? We should try to reorganise our lives, our priorities and our strategies for the future. Looking at the way the things are happening everywhere, it would be desirable for us to take the trouble of examining our lives, especially when a New Year begins. Time and tide wait for no one. Another year has sped by. We therefore need to analyse situations, reflecting on past experiences and thinking how to change them, visualising the consequences, etc. It is said: “The un-examined life is not worth living.” So, it is good to do some amount of self-examination, in order to progress well, even in a person’s spiritual life, to ascertain how well he has so far advanced, and what are the limitations and drawbacks, and also to know how much more he could have done and also enabling him to know whether there is any stagnation in his spiritual walk with God, to bring about some betterment through corrective measures. This is because God will surely help us when we cannot walk with Him. He will also help us when we find it hard to walk with Him. But we should remember that He cannot help us if we will not walk with Him.
If God holds our future, we can start it with hope, certainty and joy. Abiding hope in God will sustain us, through the thick and thin of our lives. There will be nothing to fear about, if only one truly believes in God, in spite of various twists of fate and destiny. He will continue to guide, protect and comfort us, through His loving care, when we entirely depend upon Him. It is said that the Living Christ has two Hands: One, to point out the way, and the other held out to help us along, in the thorny, rocky and stormy journey of life. This very wonderful and glorious thought should give us happiness and peace, as we enter the New Year.
Prayer Life Is Vital
Many of our prayers might not have had the full answer, we have been longing for. Let us not get discouraged. God may be wanting that our present spiritual life to be the best, our present prayer life to be the most fruitful, our present love for Jesus to be the deepest, and our present daily experience to be the most victorious. He may be wanting our lives to be richer and more blessed.
Surely God has plans that our future be better than our past, and the year we just entered into, will be full of blessings that He is desiring to bestow on us all. But He first wants us to take care of our prayer life, believing in His love, His power and His all-sufficiency. He wants us to be His Salt, His Light and His Witnesses. The Word of God says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Concern For Spiritual Life
Spirituality is very essential for every one of us, because we derive God’s Power which is needed for our fragile lives, to keep going well in this terrible world, in spite of many odds. When the going gets tough for us, to cope with various happenings in our lives, we must, through spiritual life, try to display tough faith in God, for Him to make our lives to be lived, as smoothly and as pleasantly as possible, untouched by the demonic and diabolical forces around us. Such an unflinching faith in our Lord Jesus will surely sustain us. He will help us to get our inward spiritual “batteries” charged properly and to the extent required to meet any unexpected happenings or events in our lives, especially when our faith in Him or our love for Him seem to be ebbing out of our lives, by spiritual lethargy or negligence. We have many windows of opportunities to grow and to develop deeper spirituality, in order to get closer to our Lord, for our soul’s nourishment, enrichment and vitality for us, which our regular spiritual life alone provides.
Brevity Of Life
We are all facing terrible times to make our lives miserable and horrible, because of ungodly, perverted and distorted beliefs and values, due to frightening presence and power of evil forces around us. How carefully we should live in this world, when our days in this world are numbered? We should therefore make each and every day count. The fact that we don’t know how many days we have in this world, should be a motivation for living each day for God and for God alone. We have the unseen resources at our disposal and the unseen God whom we can trust, for anything worthwhile to be accomplished. Life is an adventure directed by God. In such an adventure, let us make the most of our time which is at our disposal, for serving God in the best possible way, because what is done for Him alone, will ultimately last. Every man’s life is a plan of God, who has a wonderful purpose for those who are prepared to seek Him and to take Him at His word. We do not know what God can do for us until we put ourselves and our all into His Hands. When we forsake the temporary pleasures of this mundane world, we will be blessed with the unimaginable riches of God eternally. Short as life is, let us not make it still shorter, by the careless waste of time.
The most wonderful and interesting thing in the world is to live a great life. God has a great plan for every life. God never made anything cheap or uninteresting. He has equipped us for a great career, and really a great destiny, with a great purpose. He wants us to have a magnificent and meaningful relationship and friendship with Him. He has great things for us to accomplish during our life-time. Surely, out of our relationship and friendship with God, shall come our real spiritual growth and development, our encouragement, our guidance and finally, our success in our life’s journey.
Let us believe in our Lord Jesus and obey Him, expecting great things and attempting great things in His power. If we depend entirely on Him, we will find Him completely dependable. Let us hope and trust that our Lord will surely make the New Year, all we desire it to be, enabling us to rededicate ourselves as serious-minded believers in Christ, while remembering that only when we show Him the intensity of our Love for Him, He will shower the immensity of His divine grace on us, to enjoy real success, joy and peace in our lives.
It is said: “The happiness of our life depends on the quality of our thoughts.” May these thoughts and insights help us to seriously resolve and rededicate ourselves in this New Year to live God-pleasing lives. These will make our New Year Resolutions meaningful.
May this be a good, inspiring and cheerful New Year MESSAGE for all of us, with the following motto:
I cannot do everything,
but I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
What I ought to do,
I will do, with God’s help,
doing the WILL of GOD.
We do not need to know where we are going, if we let God do the leading, in this New Year.