4 Ways to Approach 2017
A New Year’s “Attitude” Resolution
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 . . . . . 2017! With the dawn of another new year, we are reminded once again of the passing of time. The older we get, the faster it seems to go. Consequently, as we take our first steps into a new year, we should pause to consider how to approach the coming year.
Psalm 90 helps us do just that. It is a psalm that captures the fleeting nature of time. It describes our lives as being like grass which is “renewed in the morning” and yet, “in the evening it fades and withers.” Or as verse 10 testifies, “The years of our life are seventy or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away.” So given the transient nature of our lives and the quickening pace of the passing of time, how should we approach the coming year?
Consider these four lessons from Psalm 90:
1. Receive 2017 with Gratitude
Psalm 90:1-2 says:
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Here we are reminded of the eternal nature of God. God is the one who formed the earth and the world. God is the one constant in this world from everlasting to everlasting. Therefore, every day you receive in 2017 is a gift from God. And even if there are some hard days ahead for you in the coming year, you are comforted with the reminder that God has always been our dwelling place. God has always been our comfort and refuge during the storms of life and so with confidence we know that God will continue to be our present help in times of trouble. So receive each day this year with gratitude.
2. Approach 2017 with Humility
Psalm 90:3-4 says:
3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
This contrast between God and man is a reminder to us of how fragile we really are compared to God. We are dependent creatures, while God alone is independent. This very same reminder is given in Ecclesiastes 12:7, “and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” So what is the lesson in all of this? A few verses later in Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” In other words, life is to be humbly lived under the good rule of God. So approach each day this year with humility.
3. Live 2017 with Wisdom
Psalm 90:12, 17 says:
12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
In view of the fleeting nature of time, this verse encourages us to make the most of what we have been given. Since our days are numbered and each day is precious, we should use them wisely. How so? We should make the most of our time by fully investing ourselves in people and in the work we are called to do. Paul says it this way in Colossians 3:17 and 23, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. . . . Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” All of life is sacred, so make the most of it and whatever you do, do it unto God. So live each day this year with wisdom.
4. Embrace 2017 with Joy
Psalm 90:14-15 says,
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.
The knowledge of God’s love for us fills us with joy and makes us glad all our days. We are reminded of the all satisfying love of God in Psalm 103:2-5. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Because of Jesus and his death on the cross for our sins, we ought to be marked with a deep inner joy that cannot be overcome by the circumstances in life. Remember, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. So embrace each day this year with joy.
With this in mind, I wish you a Happy New Year!
Receive 2017 with Gratitude.
Approach 2017 with Humility.
Live 2017 with Wisdom.
Embrace 2017 with Joy.
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