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What to keep in mind for the new year

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So, we’re almost done with 2018. Was it a good year for you, or did life not go like you had planned?

Some of us will be tempted to hang on to the events of the past, maybe dwelling on hurts or sorrows. But the Apostle Paul had the right idea when he said in Philippians 3:13-14: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on….Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

By that, he meant we Christians should not be discouraged by previous defeats or, on the other hand, proud of earlier achievements. Paul is describing the Christian life as a race. Runners don’t look behind, but rather they look toward the finish line. Nor do they rest on their laurels of previous victories. They keep going in the race until they win the prize — eternity with our Lord.

Indeed, each second of the Christian race is a challenge, and sometimes we runners might feel “leg cramps” or “pain.” Yet, it’s important for us to keep on, taking one stride at a time.

The Book of Lamentations was written by a person suffering from distress because of the destruction of Jerusalem. (Note that we “lament” things that go wrong.) Yet, he wrote: “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. Because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness” (3:21-23). Therefore, a good way to live is taking one step at a time, trying not to worry about the future.

In fact, the Lord says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,…thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

And no matter what the evil world throws at us, He will be by our side. Happy New Year!

Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.

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