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“I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” Phil. 3:12-14. The aforementioned Bible passage is rich with meaning as we are at the beginning of a new year.

As another year has come to an end, it is very healthy to reflect upon the good times, to remember lessons learned from the more difficult times, to clear up any misunderstandings with others, offering and receiving forgiveness freely, then setting the old year into the past as we move into the future. Let’s forget our worries, our fears, our failures and our defeats. Let us lay aside even the accomplishments of the past year, the good things we think we have done, all the things we brag about, all the medals and honors and all the awards. Whatever happened in 2017, you’ve got to let it go. As long as we’re looking back, we can’t move forward.

More good counsel on this point is found in Hebrews 12:1, 2: “ . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

These texts have one thing in common; they point us to Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith. It is by looking to Him that we are able to set aside every weight, leave the past behind, and move ahead with confidence and endurance. No one can say with certainty what the new year will bring or if we will even be here 12 months from now.  But that thought should not alarm us in any way. To all our worries the Lord says quite simply:
“Fear not.”
Will things get worse? Fear not.
Will I lose my health? Fear not.
Will I keep my job? Fear not.
Will my loved ones undergo hardship? Fear not.
Will my investments collapse? Fear not.

Will I run out of money this year? Fear not.
Will tragedy strike in my family? Fear not.
Will my children disappoint me? Fear not.
Will others ridicule my faith? Fear not. Will my cherished plans come to nothing? Fear not.
Will my dreams turn to ashes? Fear not.

We as Christians ought to be optimistic as we are in this new year. We have a great future because we have a great God. We might not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future. So we launch out with great faith into this new year. We’ll have our share of hard times, but overriding it all is the promise of God who said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” Heb. 13:5.

Bopoto Gwinyai
(7663 8191)

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