Happy New Year! The question is how are you feeling about this coming year?! Some people absolutely love the turn of the year. It’s a time to reflect on the old year that has passed….with all its failures & successes, victories & defeats, wins and losses (inc. sadly, our loved ones). We look back and reflect on the good, the bad and yes – the ugly! It’s also a time to look forward to the challenges of the coming year – the challenges of diet, debts, decisions, relationships, exams, career, health, empty nest, getting older and of simply entering the unknown.
There is one thing for sure…..in an everchanging world – God never changes! He says of himself: ‘I, the Lord, do not change.’ (Mal. 3:6) God is the one constant, unchanging aspect of our lives. The hymn writer reminds us:
‘Thou changes not, thy compassions they fail not
As thou hast been, thou forever will be….Great is thy faithfulness…’
Be encouraged as you step into this next year that God is with you and be strengthened by the words of King David in Psalm 31. David is reflecting on his life (the same words are used in Psalm 71). He is remembering great success & defeats, blessings & tragedies, joy & sorrows and yet is able to say with a mixture of assurance, security, faith, hope and deep trust:
‘But I trust in YOU, O Lord. I say – You are MY God. My times are in YOUR hands.’ (Psalm 31:15, emphasis mine)
What a great promise as you and I step into the New Year! Just as He has the whole world in His hands…He has YOUR world in His hands. He loves you, cares for you, knows what you are facing and He is with you. Your times are safely and securely in His hands. What assurance for each one of us!
God also reminds us through Isaiah (33:6):
‘God will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom & knowledge.’
How Could David Be So Sure?
- He knew His God and He trusted Him – Friends….of all your resolutions this New Year – resolve to know Him. David knew God ‘For you have been my hope….my confidence since my youth – from my birth I have relied on you.’ (Psalm 71:5)
- He knew God’s Word – David didn’t have all that we enjoy today but he said: ‘The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul.’ The Word of God was the foundation of David’s life and we must make it ours too.
- He knew that God was sovereign – David knew this more than most as he looked back at his life – I’m sure you have stories you could tell too! So don’t forget them when the challenges and difficulties come!
- He knew that His God was His sufficiency – The psalms constantly remind us of this. I remember going for a walk one day at the start of the year, laying out my life, my family & my ministry before God and then suddenly having a deep sense of my own inadequacy! I felt overwhelmed by everything I was responsible for and then God reminded me of this verse: ‘I am sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.’ (Phil 4:13 AMP) What wonderful assurance!
- He knew His God and knew His timing was always perfect – He needed to learn this – from the time Samuel anointed him king to his ascension to the throne – there was seven years of waiting and learning to trust the God who’s timing is perfect. This is so important! No matter what you are waiting for, no matter what your need, dream, desire…trust in the one who has ‘Your times in His hands.’
- He knew His God and surrendered his life to Him – ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit’ (Ps 31:15). David recognised the importance of surrender. I suspect He knelt at times and offered all he was, all he owned, all his dreams, desires & plans to the one in whom he deeply trusted and the one who held ‘My times in His hands.’ Wouldn’t that be a great way to start this New Year!
One of my favourite films is the Kings Speech. Britain was at war and King George VI broadcasts to the nation & the Empire to encourage and inspire them. He used these famous words which I hope you will take to heart at the start of this New Year:
‘I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.’
Never forget, as you journey through this year, to trust totally in the one of whom David said: ‘My times are in His hands.’