Opinion by Jack Kelley
Note: Jack originally wrote this to give us perspective after the 2008 recession. His message here is such a wonderful way to begin the year, so I’ve edited parts to make it timeless. Here are Jack’s thoughts on the 5 things we should do to begin each New Year. ~Happy New Year! Samantha
The world will be filled with ups and downs and uncertainty until the rapture. But as Christians, we don’t have to wonder what to do. There are a few steps we can take right now to make sure this year will be better for us than last year. I hesitate to call them New Year’s resolutions because we all know how long those last. But since we’re all more favorably disposed to start fresh at the beginning of the year, here are some things we can do now to ensure a better time ahead.
1. Stop Worrying: Matt. 6:33-34. Seek the Lord’s righteousness and His Kingdom in everything you do and let Him do the rest. Stop working to make ends meet, and start doing whatever you do for the Glory of God (1Cor. 10:31). Start living in faith that the One who has never deceived you will meet your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19)
2. Store Up Treasure In Heaven: Matt. 6:19-21. Start performing random acts of kindness in the Lord’s name. Become a light in this dark place. It doesn’t take much, and all you’re asked to do is what you can. I don’t care where you go to church, there’s someone in the room with you who urgently needs help. The soup kitchens, food banks, and emergency shelters have constant needs as well. Find a place where the Lord’s working and pitch in. Everyone in need is your neighbor (Luke 10:29-37). Be a good neighbor.
3. Increase Your Giving: Luke 6:38. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but that’s because our fallen nature gives us a scarcity mentality. We want to hang on tighter when we don’t have as much, forgetting that the Lord uses the same measure in blessing us as we use in blessing others. As a result just as we need more blessing, we get stingier. He has unlimited wealth and will share it with us to the same degree that we share ours with others.
4. Keep Things In Perspective: 1 Cor. 10:13. Just about everyone has lost something. And no matter what you are experiencing now, there’s a good chance there are people you know who have experienced worse.
5. Make A Joyful Noise: Psalm 100. There are plenty of folks experiencing hard times. Rejoice in all things. Let your gentleness be evident to all. We think that peace brings joy, but the opposite is true. Joy brings peace. (Phil 4:4-7)
For us this isn’t just a temporary strategy to help us survive until things get better on earth. It’s our End Game. It’s best to assume that things aren’t going to get better until that soon coming day when we suddenly disappear without a trace. Doing these five things now will bring us a Happy New Year this year and beyond. Plus it will also ensure that we have an eternity of happiness later. These are my thoughts on 01-01-09