What do you see when you look down the road into the New Year? Despite all the cultural upheaval we see in the world today, there is a reason for optimism. The foundation for your optimism is Divine Love. Faith in Him is the conduit through which He is able to pour out into your life all the good He has planned for you to be, to have and to do. It all boils down to one simple question: Do you believe that God wants you to experience and enjoy His blessings? Jesus once said, “It shall be done to you according to your faith” (Matthew 9:29) It is important for you to believe in God’s goodness and know that you are a recipient of that goodness.
As you look down the pathway into 2017, do you anticipate good things from God?
Do you expect things to become better or worse? Make no mistake about it – what we believe about God’s working in our lives in this arena has an inestimable effect on how we move ahead and what we will experience and enjoy in the coming days.
Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, when the journey from Egypt to Canaan should have taken only 11 days. Why did it take them so long to enter into the Promised Land? The Bible says, “they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). With paradise only 11 days away, they lived in self-imposed misery for 40 years, all because they refused to believe God.
How long have you wandered in circles? Maybe, like Israel, you’ve been in the wilderness for many years. God says through Isaiah that it’s time for you to accept and appropriate good news. Get ready because good news has arrived.
Your Father is bringing you out of the wilderness.
What do you see when you look down the path that lies ahead? Will you believe what God says about it? He says, “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” The good news is that you are righteous! Jesus Christ has made you righteous.
Romans 5:17 says, “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Righteousness is not something earned by good behavior. The Bible calls it “the gift of righteousness” in this verse. The verse assures you that if you will receive this reality you will reign in life! Does that sound like a biblical reason for optimism?
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus took your sin upon Himself so that you can now enjoy His righteousness as your own. The fact that you are righteous gives you reason to know that your path is like the dawn that will only become brighter and brighter!
Jesus Christ in you is the gateway to an eternally bright future. There is no reason to be anything but positive!
Consider what the Bible says, “Be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24, New Living Translation) “The Lord’s delight is in those . . . who put their hope in His unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11). “For surely you have a future ahead of you; your hope will not be disappointed” (Proverbs 23:18). “For I know the plans that I have for you,” saith the Lord, “they are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV). “There is hope for your future” (Jeremiah 31:17)!
Will you believe what Scripture says and trust the indwelling Christ to bring it to pass in your circumstances? You have the enabling grace of Jesus Christ within you to live a supernatural life. Will you accept and appropriate the good news? Will you lay hold on the hope that of fulfilling the God given dreams of your heart?
The Apostle Paul did. He wrote, triumphantly, “Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope” (Ephesians 3:20, NLT)!
Regardless of how your circumstances may look right now, don’t give up on God!
You will certainly experience some trying days, but God is with you in them. So don’t lose hope. Look ahead with a hope energized by grace. “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise” (Hebrews 10:23, NLT). He indeed can be trusted, so never lose hope.
PS) Do you want to develop a deeper intimacy in your spiritual walk this year? The resource “Journey Into Intimacy” is a helpful day by day guided study into a deeper walk with God. Be sure and check it out for additional help on this topic.