Last year is over. A new year has begun. While making New Year’s Resolutions might be the popular thing to do, as God’s people we are assured that we don’t have to wait until a new year in order to turn over a new leaf. God says “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2) and God’s help and provision are always present tense and available right now to all who would receive.
Maybe last year wasn’t a good year for us. Maybe there were circumstances that brought pain and sorrow or perhaps we found ourselves in a place of regret over mistakes that were made. Maybe we began this new year with a hope for something better but without a concrete plan for positive change.
I’m here to tell you, God has what you need. In his letter to the church at Philipi, Paul offered encouragement and Godly wisdom which is still applicable to us today and can completely transform our lives if we will put it in to practice.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)
Thankfulness in all things and in all circumstances is the first step. No matter what’s happening and no matter how we feel at the moment, we can express our thanks to God. Not that all things are good or desirable, but that God Himself is always worthy of our thanks and that His salvation and Spirit sustains us even in the midst of the darkest days. And with that thankful heart we are then in a perfect position to offer up our prayers and requests to God who is able to provide for all of our needs.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NASB)
Once we have decided to be thankful (and it is a conscious decision that we must make) and offered up our earnest prayers to God, then God Himself will provide an incredible peace which is able to do a miraculous thing for us. God’s peace will “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”! This is a wonderful promise because a heart and mind that is guarded by God’s peace is one that is not easily moved or swayed by the evil of this world and can begin to be a light for others. In other words, this is the foundation for a vital and growing faith that we must exercise and put to daily use.
Ultimately it is God who controls our circumstances and much of what happens around us is outside of our ability to change. What is possible and expected of us is to become all that God would have us to be by putting His word into practice. We must trust God with our lives and with our needs and most importantly, with our hearts and minds. There is no blessing that God will withhold from the one who is completely surrendered to Him and there is no power in this world that can overcome those that are committed to doing His will.