It is hard to believe that another year is almost over. Two thousand and eighteen years have gone by since Jesus entered the world as a baby. Tomorrow we will begin a new year — 2019. 2018 was a milestone year for me as I marked 50 years of teaching and celebrated 50 years of marriage to my amazing wife. As I enter 2019, I find myself wondering what the new year will be like and what does God have in store for me, my family and my ministry.
Last week I was reading in the Psalms and a couple of verses jumped off the pages and caused me to stop and reflect for a moment. I read,
The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10 (KJV)
Of course, I gave this verse a close look because I find myself somewhere between threescore and ten and fourscore years. It is true that life here on earth is brief and passes by so quickly and the years are filled with labor and sorrow. I continued reading and paused at another very familiar verse.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (KJV)
It is important to pay attention to every single day that God gives us here on earth. As I numbered my days, I found myself humbled to have been blessed by God in so many ways over the years. God wants us to take careful account of our lives because that will cause us to acquire a heart filled with wisdom. When we do this, we would quickly realize that, apart from Him, we can accomplish nothing of eternal significance.
So how should we enter 2019? To answer this question, I want to reflect on two other verses that I read the other day. These are found in Psalm 92.
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Psalm 92:1-2 (KJV)
Another translation says that we should declare God’s lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night. These verses have guided me over recent years on how to start and end each day as I number them. I wrote in the margin of my Bible next to verse 2 the following thoughts.
At the beginning of each day ‘look forward’ with HOPE!
At the end of each day ‘look back’ with THANKS!
When I start a day, I should focus on God’s never-ending lovingkindness. This gives me hope no matter what circumstances I might face throughout any given day. When the day ends and I look back on all that took place, I become thankful because I am always amazed that He was fully faithful to His Word. He never fails!
I believe this is a great way to not only start and end a new day but also how to start and end a new year! As we enter 2019, let’s do so declaring God’s lovingkindness. I am convinced that if we did this throughout 2019, when the year comes to an end and we look back, we would find that God was completely faithful and we would end the year with thanksgiving in our hearts, singing praises to His name.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and reflect on 2018. I am sure that we all faced some minor and major challenges over the course of the year. There may have been a time when you may have wondered how you would even survive to see another day. As I look back on 2018, I can only give praise to the One who was with me each step of the way. What an amazing God we serve! I pray that God will show forth His lovingkindness to you each day of 2019.
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:20 (KJV)