What if that was not your experience in 2016. Perhaps as you reflected on the passing year your experiences were not so favourable. Maybe it seemed as if you achieved few if any successes, you may not be able to remember many prayers that seemed to be answered and rather than your dreams coming true perhaps your dreams were shattered. Maybe you can remember more failures than successes and a lot more down times than up times. If that was your experience in 2016 then entering a new year may not be with a positive mindset.
Enter the prophet Elijah. Look at his words and apply them to your current situation in life and hopefully entering a new year will not be with negative feelings of fear and trepidation but with a positive attitude of trust, hope, faith and belief in the promises, provision and power of our great Abba father in heaven. The only true living God who loves us so much that he sent his only son Jesus to save us and redeem us and through accepting his gift of salvation and eternal life be reconciled to our loving Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 43:16-19 This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Listen to Elijah's words, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past". The year 2016 has passed, there is nothing we can do to undo the past. If we are honest perhaps we would all like to undo somethings that happened in 2016 but we need to accept that we cannot and with the help of the Holy Spirit and the grace he gives us to forget the former things and not to dwell on them.
Constantly remembering our failures, our disappointments, our unfulfilled expectations and perhaps some hurts that wounded us to some extent will no be conducive to a positive and forward looking mindset in 2017.
God's message through Eijah his prophet was to encourage his people, hence the words, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland".
What new thing was God telling them he was going to do?? To make a way forward for them and provide for them in the wilderness and the wasteland. If you are a true follower of Jesus I would suggest that at some point during your walk with Jesus you found yourself going through what many have referred to as "The wilderness experience". A time when our prayers seemed to go unheard and unanswered. A time when the presence of God seemed to allude us and barrenness seemed to be our lot.
Gods people had wandered in the wilderness and the wasteland needlessly for forty Long years. Disobedience, disbelief, defiance, stubbornness, lack of trust all contributed to their needless wandering. They made wrong choices, they listened to the bad and negative report brought back from the promised land instead of listening to the good and positive report brought back by Caleb and Joshua.
They focused on the giants in the land and as a result they adopted a grasshopper mentality. How tragic and how sad.
Joshua and Caleb saw exactly the same Giants as the other ten explorers but they did not focus on them, they focused on the size of the grapes, not on the size of the Giants. In other words they saw the provision and blessings that God wanted to lead them into. Their focus and trust was in the ability and size of their great God, in the sight of God those Giants were the real grasshoppers.
Maybe you wandered around in 2016 and did not enter in to what God had planned for your life. That year has passed and has been assigned to history, you are now in a new year and God is Looking to do a new thing in your life. God is saying to you, let go of 2016, "forget the former things, do not dwell on the past".
Let the word of God be your map and your compass in 2017 and you can be confident of God's guidance, victory and support.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth, removing obstacles that block your way. (Amplified bible)
As human beings we are bent towards doing things our way and wanting things our way. When we come to learn and accept that Gods ways are always better and higher than our ways and that Gods ways are perfect, then our Christian life tends to work out for the better.
My prayer for you is that the year 2017 will be the year that you experience God doing a new and powerful work in your life and what was wilderness and wasteland experiences will be transformed into wonderful blessings.