Beginning a new year is an interesting thing. It generally is something that we are excited about, like we are getting a brand new start. The calendar is full of blank pages, resolutions are all new, and there is still the possibility we will actually keep them this time. There is closure to the past year, as well as closure to all the problems and issues we endured the previous 12 months. It's a fresh start, and that feels really good.


Future impacted by past

The interesting thing is that this is all an illusion. The year 2017 will become 2018, but really, it will just be Sunday ending and Monday beginning. The Christmas expenses you charged in December 2017 will have to be paid for in January 2018. The embarrassing behavior at the office Christmas party will have to be faced when you go back to work on January 2nd. The harsh words spoken in an argument with your spouse two weeks ago may have an impact on your relationship for a long time to come.

The real truth is that the past
does impact the future. We don’t
have a fresh new start just
because January 1st shows up.

In fact, that is why we will probably not keep the same resolutions that we didn’t keep last new years, or the one before. If we are the same people, with the same baggage, then we are likely to have the same issues. Further, as we accumulate more past mistakes and problems, then we carry more issues into the future.

So, what we have is a past that continues to negatively impact us, haunting us, hurting us, and making our future all the more uncertain and problematic. As we contemplate the future, we may well become more fearful and anxious about the year ahead, and with good reason. We have a past we can’t go back and fix, and a future we can’t predict or control, which is made all the more difficult by the baggage we carry from the past.

Happy New Year

Of course this is only part of the story. This is the truth, but not the whole truth. This is the truth, except for God. God, however, changes everything. He changes the impact of the past and He changes the possibilities for the future. Because of the forgiveness found through Jesus Christ, “old things are passed away and all things become new.” We can “forget those things which are behind, and look forward to those things that are ahead.” We find forgiveness, cleansing, new life, freedom, deliverance from the past, and hope for the future. Our past can be transformed and we can be transformed, so our future can be transformed. Our future does not have to be determined by our past.

We don’t have to be identified by our sin,
nor held prisoner by them.

The overcoming, transforming power of the Gospel changes everything! The future is not to be feared. Our God is more powerful than the past and is in control of the future. Perhaps it would be a good idea to stop now and thank God for His faithfulness in the year past and confess any failure on your part to be faithful to Him. Then spend a few minutes in prayer, offering to God the year ahead, surrendering all that you are to all that He desires. Begin the year in surrender to Christ, and enter the year in hope and confidence because of the goodness and faithfulness of our God.

Happy New Year, INDEED!