It’s the beginning of a new year, and in churches, school rooms, offices, and homes across the nation the message is clear: let’s make 2017 the best year yet! It’s a message of hope, a call to look out into the unknown with determination and good will. It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and make the best of every moment. But where do you start?
The choices are overwhelming, the to-do-lists unending, the priorities confusing. It’s easy to get swept up in the emotion of a new year and get lost in the never ending demands of that “best year yet.” But what does Scripture counsel us in moments like this? I think if we turn to the Psalms we can find a way forward through it all.
In the midst of the chaos and confusion, the Psalms seem a constant call to “be still.” Psalm 46 speaks of wars and tribulation, troubles and the general chaos of the world, and in the midst of all of it we hear those so familiar words to “be still, and know that I am God.” To be still is to relinquish control, to acknowledge that One who is greater than I stands sovereign over our world.
When we look at the world around us and it seems the wicked are running things, that it is only they who are living the full life, we are counseled in the Psalms to enter the sanctuary of the Lord. Psalm 73:16-17 says “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.” It’s in His presence that what makes no sense begins to make sense.
And when we simply don’t know what to desire, where our hearts should take us, we find the Psalms once again ready with an answer. Psalm 37:4 encourages us to “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Make Him the center of your delight, and your desire will be for Him. He will not fail to give you Himself.
This year, before anything else, above the busyness of the modern calendar, we need to make time to be still, enter the sanctuary, and set our hearts on the Lord. Before we can have our “best year yet,” we must realize whose hands hold the year, and what is truly Best in this world. Only with that perspective in place will we make any headway in 2017.
Soli Deo Gloria!
P.S. - A great opportunity to retreat and reflect on the proper perspective for our youth is coming this March 24-26. Disciple Now 2017 will focus on what it means to be a Follower of Christ. Cost is $25. We are also beginning sign ups for our summer missions camp coming July 24-29, $50 deposit to secure your spot. Sign up with me today!