"Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Happy New Year to you! Dear friend, despite the highs and the lows of 2017, you made it! That took more than mere luck or wishful thinking. It took the hand of God. More than 3, 400 years ago, Joshua was about to lead the people of God into the promised land. Joshua was uncertain of the outcome; his responsibilities were enormous, and the task was dangerous. He was afraid and needed a little encouragement for the journey. God’s word came to him, assuring him that the hand of God would be in the details of his life, “Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
A new year is an exciting occasion, as evidenced by all the New Year parties, the countdowns and fireworks around the world. 2018 is no different, and yet the new year comes with lots of questions: Will the marriage improve? Will the family dysfunction be resolved? Will I stay with my old employer or find a new job? Will the politics and the economy improve? Will I lose the extra weight this year….? Once again, God speaks into this swirling cyclone of fear and doubt saying, ““Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Child of God, celebrate him and his faithfulness. His hand has been weaving the details of your life from before your conception (Jeremiah 1:5) and he will never stop. He encourages you to trust him, lean on him and submit to him in all your ways and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3: 5-6). Whatever happens in 2018 will not happen by chance. God is completely in control and he will not depart from your side (Psalm 121:8). Enter the new year with full confidence knowing that he who has begun this good work in you will bring it to completion, in his own way and in his own time (Philippians 1:6). Have a truly blessed New Year, and may his hand of blessing and guidance rest on you in 2018!
Almighty God, who was, who is and who will come to judge the living and the dead, may your name be praised throughout the earth for who you are, for what you have done, and for what you continue to do for your children. Thank you for your presence in the lives of your people, and particularly in my life. Because of your unfailing love, I will not be afraid or discouraged. What can mere mortals do to me (Psalm 118:6)? I am placing my hand in your hand, Spirit of God, lead me into 2018. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.