4 Keys to a Great New Year
There are many problems and challenges associated with the coming of a new year, especially in the day in which we live. On a national scale terrorism and the woes of our economy top the list. Of more local concern are the issues of education and public safety. While there is little that we can do about the issues mentioned above other than voice our opinion and exert what influence we may have, there are some personal challenges that we can confront which can have a dramatic effect upon our individual lives in the coming year.
- PRAY: For a Christian, there is no greater resource than prayer. When the hardship becomes unbearable and the burden is great, the sovereign God of heaven is waiting for us to call. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 while instructing his disciples, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
- TRUST: Everyone in our society is not out to take his neighbor to the cleaners, although at times it certainly seems that way. When you decide to put your faith in those with whom you associate you do two important things: First, you place upon them the burden of honesty. If that person has any sense of integrity whatsoever, it will be very difficult for him to take advantage of you. Secondly, when you trust someone, you reveal your character. There can be no hidden strategies in the heart of someone who is willing to openly trust another.
- LOVE: When asked: “which is the greatest commandment of all?” Jesus answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” He then added: “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-39). Many of the world’s problems would be solved if we would simply live by that principle.
- FORGIVE: William Arthur Ward, in his book, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, wrote: “We are most like beasts when we kill. We are most like men when we judge. We are most like God when we forgive.” Indeed, forgiveness, like love, is a cornerstone of God’s character, a trait that we, as believers, are commanded to emulate.
Why not determine that you will have the greatest influence possible this year by meeting the challenge to pray, trust, love and forgive like never before.