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New Year...New You?

As we enter a new year, may it truly be another year of God’s goodness to us all. Like most of you, we’ve just packed away our Christmas decorations, and the after-Christmas diets have begun!

I have been pondering this new year and considering all the ways that we have been blessed — including those little hidden treasures that sometimes we don’t think about. Some of the blessings that I’ve been reminded of are:

• God’s faithfulness

• Family love and support

• Financial provision

• The love, prayers and concern of friends

• God’s gifts of grace and peace

• Our grandchildren and our two beautiful great-grandbabies

• Good health

• The blessing of our home

I’m also grateful for God’s promises in 2019, including:

• Stability

• His abundant provision

• Wisdom for this season

• Greater knowledge of His character and His ways

The greatest treasure, though, is our opportunity to walk in the fear of the Lord and to worship Him regardless of circumstances. One of the Biblical definitions of success is the ability to reach our destination — to achieve our goal, safe and sound. Ultimately, it is our hope that we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” After all, we are brought into the kingdom to not only be overcomers but to be more than conquerors!

So let’s embrace the change that will inevitably come in this new year.

While big changes direct our future, it is really those much smaller changes in life that God actually uses to purify us and prepare us for what is ahead. And change comes at all stages of life. Wherever we encounter challenges — through our marriages, our jobs, the parenting of our children, or family health issues — dear friends, we have the privilege of embracing the changes and seeing the hand of the Lord at work. Let’s cooperate with Him and see Him push us forward on our journey!

Our greatest opportunity for positive change is found in times of apparent failure and disappointment. The power of His grace flows most fully when we choose to act in harmony with His will in each season of life. He uses these times of change and challenge to bring us to Himself. He speaks to us to bring us to repentance — something that I heard someone recently refer to as a chance for a “re-do” — in our lives.

We are to face our challenges and changes in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own strength and energy (Zech. 4:6). When God calls us to change, He assumes the responsibility for removing the doubts, fears and disappointments we encounter. At the same time, He will give us the hope and strength to persevere. Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” In plain language, He urges us: “Relax, let go and stop struggling, because I’m in control.”

Dear ones, let’s join our hearts and minds in prayer and determination to accept the changes that come our way and the challenges that are put before us — because God is always there, and He is always there for us!

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