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
(Philippians 3:13-14, NKJV).
I can scarcely believe that this is our last weekly devotional and prayer/praise list of 2010. I know: Time flies when you’re having fun—and, at my age, even when you aren’t! But that’s all right. We’ve read the end of the Book and we know how it all turns out. What we don’t know is what lies ahead for us between this moment in time and the twinkling of an eye when we step into eternity to be with our Lord and Savior.
With economic downturns, personal health and relational issues, rising unemployment numbers, and various other challenges of living in this broken world, that not knowing can leave us more than slightly apprehensive at times, can’t it? I’m a German-raised, firstborn Type-A personality who likes my ducks in order before sticking my toe in the water. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
Facing a new year can evoke a lot of emotions: excitement, joy, anticipation—or fear, dread, depression. Much of where we land in that mix depends on whether or not we’ve made peace with the past by asking for and receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins and failures so we can effectively forget “those things which are behind” and, by faith in the One who bought our forgiveness and promises a glorious, never-ending future with Him, “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Regardless of whether this past year brought good times or bad (or more than likely, a combination of the two), God’s purpose for us is to reach ever higher, to aspire to a nobler, more honorable life this year than last. And we can do that only by resting in His promises to live in us as we rest in Him.
Leave the past—the good, the bad, and the ugly—under the Blood where it belongs, and anticipate the future with joy, for that same Blood that forgives and covers yesterday will be there for us tomorrow. Happy New Year, beloved ones!