First, I must admit that I pilfered this from an email my parents' pastor sent out a couple of days ago to the members of First Baptist Church of Rice. He borrowed this (and properly attributed it to) an article titled "Everything Can Change this New Year" by Travis Plumb. It's a good reminder for all of us to begin each day in the right place. I'll just quip "I couldn't have said it better myself" and then let you know this is an abridged version (I can't turn off my internal editor even on someone else's work). ;)
"Did you know that anything and everything can change for you this new year? It doesn’t matter if things have been going bad for you lately, Scripture tells us God is able to do anything and all things. (Phil. 4:13) Nothing is too hard for Him. (Jer. 32:17) Seeking God’s help can cause all kinds of changes for the better in your life. You just have to believe — not in a fantasy like a Santa, but in a reality like the God of the universe; not trusting your future to dumb luck like in a lottery, but trusting your future to an Almighty God who holds the future in His hands.
God has a very specific plan for every human on earth; and it is for good, not for evil. It is to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) God loves you. He cares totally about your well-being, so get in on His plan for your life! You can conquer
anything with God.
Once you are a Christian, you don’t just cope with your stress and manage your anger. In all of these things, you are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you. (Rom. 8:37) But this is not a magic kingdom; that is in Florida. This is the Kingdom of Christ, and in this kingdom He desires for you to “do” (Phil. 4:9).
Don’t wait around for a miracle to be dumped into your lap while you watch your favorite reality show. Get up, start serving, praying, praising and watch your very own show come to reality. God will do miracles in your life. Believe it!
Last night ended at midnight and today is a whole new day. You have to wake up every morning and see the potential of a living God who can do all things through you and for you. Yesterday or last week might have been painful, disappointing, hurtful or just plain yucky. But the worst thing we can do is to sit around contemplating what a miserable, hard time we are having. It will never change unless you change your mental attitude.
Everybody in this life is going to have troubles. That is the reality of living in a sinful, broken world. Since we are all going to have troubles anyway, we might as well choose to go through them with Jesus. It sure beats trying to go through struggles on your own. He can give you hope for tomorrow and peace that passes your understanding. (Phil. 4:7) He can give you strength to go on. (Phil. 4:13)
It doesn’t matter what you did or who you are; it matters who you become. Every choice you make this year will determine who you are. The choices we make, make us. You are actually becoming the person your choices reflect. You can choose to be bitter, negative, depressed and totally self-absorbed about your troubles — if you do, that will determine the type of person you are this year. But you have a choice. You can be determined, strengthened, find courage and hope and grow through your troubles to be a better person in the long run. Those choices also will determine what kind of person you become.
Are you catching on? You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself over your sad circumstances or you can rise above them. You can let other people label you and look down on you, or you can look up and realize God will never discourage you. If you are a Christian, you are not dumb, depressed, divorced, etc. You are wonderfully made (Psa. 139:14) crowned with glory and honor (Psa. 8:5) and a prince or princess of a kingdom that will never end. (II Cor. 6:18) This new year can bring about new changes — any day, any moment. God is waiting on you to join Him in a glorious journey of faith. So what are you waiting for?
Get up! Praise Him! Thank Him! Seek Him! Lift your head up! Smile! Be confident in who you are because of Who is in you! (Phil. 1:6)"
Happy New Year!