We are only days away from bringing this year to a close.
Some of us will look back fondly at what God has done in our lives – be it in blessings, answered prayer, healing, deliverance, restoration, etc.
All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God. Dt. 28:2 NASB
A faithful man will abound with blessings… Pr. 28:20 NASB
…you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. Ex. 23:25 NASB
…how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. 2 Chr. 9;7 NASB
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! Ps. 2:12 NASB
We see then that anyone who had a blessed year, would be one who obeys God, walks a righteous walk, keeps their faith in Him, serves Him, listens to Him and makes Him their ‘Rock.’
(If your year was not so hot, you most assuredly want to consider conforming your ways accordingly.)
…He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him. 1 Chr. 5:20 NASB
In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He answered me. Ps. 120:1 NASB
Of course, you are blessed when you have answered prayer – which gets answered when you trust in Him to come to your aid.
“…for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings… Mal. 4:2 NASB
If you’ve been delivered from illness of any kind, you can rest assured it was because you showed reverence for Jehovah God.
‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, of judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ 2 Chr. 20:9 NASB
“…the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 2 Kin.17:39 NASB
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Ps. 34:7 NASB
Again, what do we see? Turning to God with reverence, from a position of obedience, brings deliverance as well.
…indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. 2 Cor. 1:9, 10. NASB
Finally, we always keep our focus on God, who delivers us from death, reconciles us to Him through the cross, and will restore our relationship with Him for all eternity.
This is how we position ourselves to have these ‘good years;’ and, God wants us to remember all that He has done for us, to bring Him glory so that we can continue to have them.
Let us turn now to those of us that may have had a year that we most assuredly would like to put behind us, and never have such a one repeat again.
The first obvious solution would be to follow all of the aforementioned scriptures.
Secondly, let’s examine what may have gone wrong. For example, did you commit some act, or indulge in a pattern of thinking, that was contrary to God’s word?
When you make a vow or a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God takes no pleasure in fools [who thoughtlessly mock Him]. Eccl. 5:4 AMP
“I therefore will measure [punishment for] their former work [directly] into their arms.” Is. 65:7 AMP
“Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” Ex. 32:33 NASB
We do our best to follow God’s word; yet, in the frailty of our humanity, we all fall short (1 Kin. 8:46). Yet, we cannot minimize the devastation of sin.
Praise God for His favor and forgetfulness when we confess and repent (Jer. 31:34).
Sin, left to its own devices, lead to death, but forgiveness always follows repentance. However, we may be forgiven, but many times we must contend with the consequences of our transgressions.
We can fall at our Lord’s feet and petition His mercy and pray for brevity with regards to the experience.
Then, we can do our best not to repeat our wayward behavior in the new year…
Sometimes, we run into trouble, regardless of our behavior. It may be God Himself, trying to teach us something, or trying to nudge us in a new direction:
“Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Job 2:10 CSB
For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again… Ps. 71:19, 20. NASB
The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Pr. 16:9 NASB
Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD… Ps. 94:12 NASB
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. Ps. 119.71 NASB
God loves you; that is why He always invests Himself in pointing you in the right direction. If you are suffering difficulty for reasons that aren’t apparent to you, ask God, “What do You want me to learn from this?” Your Father has been trying to get your attention, because there is some kind of stumbling block in your path, and He wants you to know the source of it, and how it is hurting you, so that you can be delivered.
Pray for understanding, revelation, the right path, and for mercy…
The last thing that may have made your year less than it could be, is unforgiveness.
God, (whom we are to emulate), always leads by example:
But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared and worshiped [with submissive wonder]. Ps. 130.4 AMP
He is always ready to forgive you, providing you confess and repent:
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. Dan. 9:9 NKJV
All unforgiveness is rooted in judgment; and being sinners ourselves, we are decidedly proscribed from practicing it:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged… Mt. 7:1, 2. NKJV
Forgiving is a hallmark trait of being a Christian. If you walk like Jesus, you have to forgive like He did. In fact, He died for your forgiveness. If you implement unforgiveness, you will not be blessed on any level, until you stop. In fact, you will suffer for it:
“But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:15 AMP
Everyone, including yourself, requires forgiveness. At the heart of being able to forgive, is a continual focus on Christ’s sacrifice so that God could forgive you. You must position yourself to be forgiven, so that you can have a good life:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Col. 3:12, 13. ESV
You can’t wait for your situation to get better with your target, you can’t get away with a weak and insincere ’I’m sorry.’ You have to genuinely repent. You can’t tuck the supposed infraction in some ‘tickler file,’ to use for future abuse. You must take on amnesia.
Forgiveness needs to happen no matter whether you think they deserve it or not. It’s not an easy task, but as you can see, it must be done to get right with that other person and for you to get right with God.
We also need to forgive ourselves. I know this goes against the teaching of many biblical teachers, but I’m just going to throw it out here, and you can decide for yourself.
They would rightly claim that self-forgiveness is not mentioned in the Bible. However, we know that there are some issues that the Bible does not address. They would also rightly point out that it would be audacious to forgive yourself for sins that you commit. For it is true, that would negate the sacrifice of our Savior in our eyes.
However, I would offer that no one in the world is a worse critic of ourselves than ourselves. It is this destructive and many times blind and automatic behavior that we need to forgive ourselves for, to let up on ourselves – to get that conversation out of our heads so that we can hear our God…
So, we’ve seen how to partner up with Jehovah God to make this next year a stellar one, how to get Him into our new year. What kind of year can we look for?
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. Ps. 68:19 NASB
The blessing of the LORD brings [true] riches, and He adds no sorrow to it [for it comes as a blessing from God]. Pr. 10:22 AMP
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him. Is. 30:18 NASB
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin. Rm. 4:8 NLT
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all of your iniquities, who heals all of your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The LORD performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed…The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness…He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. Ps. 103:2 – 6, 8 & 10 – 13. NASB
Now that’s a year to look forward to…
Goodnight and God bless.