Summary: This sermon encourages believers to look at the positive of a fresh start in a New Year.
Benjamin Franklin said, “In a new year declare war on you spiritual and personal vices (not on others), decide to live in peace with your neighbors, those close to you, and yourself (not in constant conflict), be forgiving and understanding toward others (and not harbor, hold grudges and continue to be consumed by them), and make conscious decision that (you, not others) will be a better person this year”, and the better you are just might make others better.
The New Year is the beginning in some ways of an open book, a new chapter with blank pages. It’s an opportunity to fill the blank pages with fresh ideas, new opportunities, and new inspirations, and new attitudes.
Jeremiah proclaimed that the mercies of God are new (the concept of that is that they are fresh, they are renewed chances) each day. In this New Year, can you reach for God’s new mercies? You can smell the freshness of God faithfulness toward you in this New Year if you focus on the new scent. Can you get away from that aroma of staleness and the stench of the odor of last years miseries? It’s hard to walk in the new and fresh mercies of God, if you just keep reaching back at the staleness, stagnation, and the stumbling and the stupidity of the old year.
You have a choice of what is written on the blank pages of your life in this New Year. You can fill the pages by verbalizing and rehashing the mistakes, the misgivings, and the misunderstanding of last year. You can live your life in reverse or stuck in neutral, or you can find the driving gear and move forward in faith, hope, prayer, and with the right spirit in the Holy Spirit. You can live your life in the past moments of the old year by focusing on the frustrations, the failures, the fears, and even the factions. And all of those emotions are real and I am sure were difficult.
You can live this year placing the blame and rationalizing actions (whether ignorant or indifferent) and attitudes of others and yourself, and remain tied to the moment of the past. Or as one writer says, “or you can drop the old year into silent limbo of the past, let it go, and own it for what it was and is, and choose not to be defined by it, but to be driven by something more positive.
In other words you can begin the New Year focusing on your pain and problems, and your struggles and stretching of last year. Or you can began the new year majoring on the negatives and the naysayers’, you can began the New Year by lifting up what should have happened and did not happen. Or what did happen that could have been prevented.
Or you can rise above it, with the God that is in you that can transforms those negative moments into a positive action and attitude from you. Rise above knowing that the only person that you have control of is you. The only power you have control is your will power. The only attitude that you can empower is your own.
You have a choice of beginning in pity or praise, with a head raised in hope, or bowed in defeat, of being a fatalist or a faith filled person. You have the choice of the spirit of defeat ruling or the spirit of faith ruling. Know this, the New Year may have similar or same situations, but you decide that I am not going to allow the worst of me to be seen.
That is exactly what Job did, that is precisely the attitude and the disposition that Job took. It’s an amazing statement that falls from the lips of Job in the text today, as he has experienced a rough season in life.
Talking about a person whose year had been difficult, that is mildly stating the case. Job had had a hurting, humiliating, horrendous, horrifying, and hellish experience. His life had been totally interrupted with the severest trials. He had been to the pit of pain and pity, the bottom of life had fallen out (actually the bottom of the bottom of his life had fallen) in ways that were unbelievable. He had experienced the deepest lows and the severest blows that could happen.
The unthinkable had happened, the unexpected had invaded his life, his peace and his position in life had suddenly and slowly unraveled before his eyes. Job lost everything, everything that had defined him, everything that had brought him happiness, everything that gave him a sense of self worth and stability were gone. Read chapters 1 and 2 (not while I am preaching).
> His Possessions! His Property! His Family! His Health! His Credibility (his friends)! His Image! His Respect from his Wife!