Looking back at the year gone, we must admit that 2022 was a special year. It was the year that we transitioned out of the pandemic, and in Singapore, most restrictions had relaxed to pre-Covid times. Hence, we have managed to resume most of our usual activities. However, transition takes time, and perhaps many of us have yet to fully make the transition back. As we look forward to the new year, it is perhaps time to consider whether we can make 2023 a year of success for ourselves! How can we get ready to win in the new year ahead?
A winner needs to have a winning mindset. If we plan to lose from the beginning, then losing becomes a guarantee! Do we look forward to the new year with a positive mindset, with optimism, and with joy? Understandably, when life gets difficult, it may be difficult to find optimism anywhere. However, as Christians, we can find positivity even in dark times, because Jesus gives us joy and hope! Jesus gives us hope of overcoming sin, because He had paid the ultimate price to save us! (John 3:16). Jesus gives us hope of overcoming troubles and trials, because He promised to be with us, and to help us escape any temptation! (1 Corinthians 10:13). If only we had faith in Jesus, we can even overcome the world (1 John 5:4).
As we look forward to the new year ahead, let us begin with a positive mindset. Instead of thinking of negative thoughts, let us think of positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Instead of being fearful, let us be brave (2 Timothy 1:7). Instead of focusing on the problems, let us focus on the solutions (Philippians 4:13). After all, through Jesus Christ, we have the power to do anything!
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13)
I do not believe anyone is looking forward to a new year of doing nothing. We are surely looking forward to a year that is fruitful and productive. Maybe we already have plans for 2023: plans for our career advancement; plans for further studies; plans for our family; plans for our next vacation. But more importantly, do we have plans for God? Do not make the mistake of making great plans for the year without God! (James 4:13-15).
In order to have a truly victorious new year, let us think about how we can be productive for the Lord. After all, as servants of the Lord, is it not our duty to serve the Lord to the best of our ability? (Luke 17:10). Have we presented our bodies as a living sacrifice to God? (Romans 12:1-2). Do we put God first and foremost in our lives? (Matthew 6:33). There is much to in the Lord’s kingdom, so in the new year ahead, let us consider: how can we make ourselves productive for the Lord?
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21)
There’s a saying: he who fails to plan, plans to fail. We may dream of a wonderful new year, but are we making proactive plans and steps to make it happen? What have we done to ensure a victorious new year ahead? With regards to the Lord’s service, how do I plan to contribute this new year? If I have already been contributing, is there more that I can do in the new year?
The church has plans and activities lined up for 2023. Many hands will be needed in order for all the plans to be executed to their success. There is surely something that we can do to help out, and some way for us to be involved in the Lord's work. We do not have to wait to be approached; why not go ahead and contact the elders or preachers, who can surely point you in the right direction, so that you can be actively involved in an area of service. We may not be able to do everything, but surely, we can do something. We may not be perfect workers, but we can always strive to be.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13)
Wishing everyone a blessed and victorious 2023 ahead!