As I’ve experienced more and more life, I’m learning that how I greet the January of a new year can set me up for what God has in store for me. The start of a new year is a great time to both reflect on the blessings, challenges, and growth that God brought to your life last year and to refocus on what you’ll do this year to deepen your relationship with and understanding of him. As I have navigated the start of 2024, I am reminded of two things that will help me dig deeper in God’s grace and direction for my life.
Trust in His Plan
Likely, we all have an agenda for the start of a new year. Buy a house, buy a car, get a specific job, you name it. We can miss the foundational truths of our faith that remind us that God is in control and he has a plan for our lives. It’s great to be reminded that our steps are already ordered and no matter how a year begins, there’s a greater plan that we can’t see. Our trust in his plans for us should supersede any resolutions or desires that we believe will benefit us.
Yes, we know we are to trust in his good plans for us, but his plans may be to experience lows that draw us closer to him and strengthen our relationship with our Creator. The good things God has in store for us begin to take shape when we embrace the hard things and allow them to mold us into who he wants us to be. Can I challenge you? Begin 2024 with humble obedience to God’s plans, holding loosely to your own.
Have Grace for Others
Have you ever started a year off while holding a grudge or simply holding on to something that you just can’t shake or let go of? Grudges and bitterness are a signal that you aren’t fully loving or embracing a fellow image-bearer. He has called us to love one another while also seeking to hold each other accountable as we walk with him.
In each of our life journeys, we will stumble and fall, sometimes in ways that require others to come to our aid. In moments like this, it’s important to have godly and faithful men and women to show love and grace in the face of a storm. Grace is extended to all of us in Christ Jesus, and we can offer that extravagant grace to each other as well. As we navigate each day and year that God gifts us, let love and grace cover a multitude of things.
The Year Ahead
So, what does this new year look like for you? Choose to begin your year trusting God with your plans and extending love and grace to those you encounter along the way. Resist the temptation to seek after your own agenda or your perception of a perfect year. Allow him to lead and guide you in all that you desire. Each day is a gift; we are not promised tomorrow. Use the gift of another day and another year to learn more about his character, to deepen your relationship with him, and to do life with those around you! I pray that this year is filled with growth and a deeper understanding of his grace in and around each of us.