Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on the Past, Anticipating the Future

December 31st- A representation of endings and new beginnings. In all reality, it’s just another day on the calendar. Nothing magical happens; Fairy Godmothers don’t miraculously appear and no one turns into a pumpkin at midnight. We all know this, yet there remains something special about the New Year. It’s an opportunity to reflect on past decisions and circumstances. Likewise it’s an occasion for making changes and new choices. It’s almost like a second chance at life.

Praise the Lord we have a God that is all about second chances. Not only that, He is all about third, and fourth, and fifth, and tenth, and hundredth, and thousandth chances! Whew! If that’s not enough, our God, full of wonder and surprise, is never surprised or shocked by us, our actions, or our circumstances. Sure, we surprise ourselves. We disappoint ourselves. We let ourselves down. But our God- He’s never shocked. He already saw our substance, being yet unformed. And in His book they all were written, the days fashioned for us, when as yet there were none of them (Ps 139:16).

As we reflect on the past, becoming overwhelmed with dread and regret, our God confidently rejoices in where we’ve been, who we are, and who we’re becoming. He takes our failures and hurts, and works them out for the good because we are called according to His perfect purpose. He foreknew you! He predestined you! He called you to be conformed to the image of His Son! And not only that, whom He called, He also justified, and whom He justified, He also glorified (Rm 8:28-30)! This is NOT future tense! Foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified… PAST TENSE! You already ARE. Period.

Still disappointed in your past? Still ashamed of your history? God’s not. As a matter of fact, He sees your past and
anticipates the future because He knows the thoughts He thinks toward you, and those thoughts are of peace and not of evil, thoughts to give you a future and a hope (Jer29:11). How precious are those thoughts toward you. How great is the sum of them! If you should count them, they would be more in number than the sand (Ps139:17-18)!

So as we enter into a New Year and anticipate a new beginning, let us not disregard the good, the bad, and the ugly of our past, because this is forming us into the image of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
But you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  
-1 Cor 6:11
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