Bright Hopes for the New Year

Thought for the Day

Do You Have Bright Hopes For the Year Ahead?

Psalm 23:6; “6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me     All the days of my life;     And I will  dwell in the house of the Lord     Forever.”

Do you have bright hopes and ambitious plans for the year ahead? I think we should purpose to make this year a great one for God’s glory. But how can we do that? We lay our plans and make our resolutions, and yet, sometimes what we deemed the year of great prospects turns out to be a year of disaster. One recent study found that seventy percent of people couldn’t keep their new year resolutions even through the month of January, much less the whole year.

So how can you and I make this new year great? Let me offer a prescription of five elements that can contribute to an excellent year . . . even to a successful life. You can find these elements in Proverbs 3:1-10, wherein God promises that if we obey His commands, we will experience “long life and peace.” As you read through the passage, you’ll find these themes:

  1. Keep God’s commands for a long and happy life.
  2. Live by mercy and truth for popularity and a good reputation.
  3. Trust in and acknowledge the Lord for direction and guidance.
  4. Fear the Lord, and forsake evil for good health.
  5. Honor and give to the Lord your possessions for financial well-being.

Proverbs 3:1-10; “1    My son, do not forget my law,     But let your heart keep my commands;

2    For length of days and long life     And peace they will add to you.

3    Let not mercy and truth forsake you;     Bind them around your neck,     Write them on the tablet of your heart,

4    And so find favor and high esteem     In the sight of God and man.

5    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,     And lean not on your own understanding;

6    In all your ways acknowledge Him,     And He shall £direct your paths.

7    Do not be wise in your own eyes;     Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

8    It will be health to your £flesh,     And strength£ to your bones.

9    Honor the Lord with your possessions,     And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

10    So your barns will be filled with plenty,     And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Generally speaking, if you follow each command, you’ll receive each corresponding reward. But keep in mind that these are general principles, not guarantees. Many people who live good and godly lives do not experience all five consequences.

Neither are these “five easy steps” to Paradise. We don’t achieve admittance to Heaven by following any set of rules or living a good life. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we receive salvation by God’s grace only; never by human works. But if we love Jesus, we want to show Him that love by obeying His Word.

This year ask God to show you what goals He has for you. Then ask Him how you can achieve those goals. Submit yourself to Him and purpose to love Him in all you do, and you’ll most definitely have a happy and spiritually prosperous year.

Matthew 7:7;7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (04 January 2020)

About Ephraim J. Stockwell

Ephraim J. Stockwell, Born 30 May 1926 in Howell, Michigan, USA; Grew up on a farm in Uniontown, Pennsylvania; Served in Army during WW2 in European Theater of Operations; College in West Virginia, majoring in Physics and Electronic Engineering; Employed by NASA Headquarters, Wash. D.C. as Head of Network Operations (Retired), Husband of Joan Morgan Stockwell, father of 3 sons; Jack, Mark and Rick; Family includes 17 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren.
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