In the New Year | Column

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Every year as New Year’s Day approaches, many of us begin to focus on what our resolutions are going to be.  One of the most popular one is to lose a specified number of pounds before the New Year ends.  It has been my experience that most of us do not reach that goal.  
We will begin in high gear, and before we know it, the weight loss resolution is out of the door, without even getting off to a good start!  After a few days of dieting, we will get on the scale, and if we do not see what we expect, here comes the negative attitude and/or depression.  
Instead, why not focus on blessings that will bring a peaceful and joyous New Year in the Lord and how to accomplish it for yourself and others?  God wants us to be happy and blessed, but we sometimes place too much time focusing on things that will not bring us the satisfaction that we need and deserve to enjoy life.  Matthew 6:33 (KJV) tells the believer, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Therefore, if we would do what it says in this Scripture, the New Year will bring us blessings beyond our expectations.
The Lord wants His people to live peaceably and full of joy. Romans 15:13 (ESV) confirms, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Therefore, as the New Year progresses, focus on receiving these beatitudes/blessings so that you will live happily in peace and joy. (All of the supporting Scriptures are taken from the English Standard Version-ESV.) 
Happy are they who faithfully study and believe the Word of God.  
II Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Happy are they who love the Lord.
I John 3:16-“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Happy are they who trust in the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:5-6: “Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.”
Happy are they who forgive others.
Mark 11:25: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Happy are they who confess their sins.
I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Happy are they who realize and understand their faith will be tested.
I Peter 1:6-7: “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Happy are they who love their fellow man.
I Corinthians 16:14: “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Happy are they who willingly give to those who are less fortunate.
Proverbs 22:9: “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”
Happy are they who responsibly and spiritually raise and care for our children and youth.
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Happy are those who believe in eternal life.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Have a wonderfully blessed New Year, filled with peace and joy, and never leave home without Him!
 
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)
 
 
 

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