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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My New Year Wishes

As 2011 rushes to get out of here to make room for 2012, my thoughts turn to what God has done in my life this year. While I have not had any earth-shaking success or changes in my life, God continues to show me that it is He who is watching over me and my family from day to day, providing for us and guiding us. I was able to continue working at my day job as an occupational therapist and while I'm beginning to focus on retirement, I still thank God that  I do have a job and am able to meet my financial commitments. That's a lot more than many people can say these days.

My health also seems to be holding steady, and  I've increased my activity level somewhat, while keeping a strict eye on what I eat. I eliminated meat from my diet years ago, and now if I only taste a piece of chicken, my stomach rebels. So, I'm sticking to my fish, soy, peas and beans, fruits and vegetables.

As for my Christian walk, I still think I need to not just read, but study the Word more and spend more time with God. I've started waking early some mornings and talking to God, but I have this yearning to just go away and be with Him. My life is so rushed, that I find it difficult to make time for what really matters. So, what do I want for the coming year?  I don't need a bigger house, or a new car, or a new boat. I need:

The peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4 : 7) It's too easy to give in to feelings of anxiety when things seem uncertain, but the Bible tells us, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26: 3). The Bible tells us we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5 : 7).  Psalm 34 : 14 says, "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."

Prosperity. Contrary to what many Christians believe, prosperity is not a bad thing. In fact, 3 John 1 : 2 says, " Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health , even as thy soul prospereth ." And in  Proverbs 21 : 21 we read, "He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." So, in 2012 I want the prosperity that comes to the child of God who loves Him and serves Him. I want to be prosperous or whole in every area of my life, or, as one preacher puts it, "to have nothing missing, nothing broken." 

To exercise patience in my daily life. Patience is part of the fruit of the spirit, which all Christians should display. Colossians 3 : 12 says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Romans 8 ; 25 tells us, "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

I've used the three benefits above to narrow down the areas where I think I may be lacking spiritually. With the help of the Holy Spirit I can achieve these things in 2012 and beyond, but I have a part to play. In order to have peace, I must keep my mind stayed on God. I must actively refrain from evil and seek peace. Prosperity is linked to health and life and comes through the pursuit of righteousness and love. In order to have patience, I must clothe or cover myself with it. I cannot always expect instantaneous blessings, but must wait with hope on God's timing.

Friends, what do you wish to achieve in 2012 and the years that you have left? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you really need, then work diligently at acquiring it. Happy New Year!

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