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A New Perspective for a New Year

Paige Smith {Includes Podcast at Bottom}

With the dawn of a new year hope always rises afresh in us. There is that universal sense of a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate.

We feel the second wind surge up in us to continue steadfastly or to begin anew.

For some of us we are undoubtedly experiencing a new chapter in our lives, whether it be an exciting new pregnancy, a new job, or a new semester at school. For others we may be continuing a professional or academic endeavor and the new year came in just in time giving us the refreshing we needed to carry on.

The first week of the new year is well underway and with it the excitement but also uncertainty of what this new year will bring.

Whatever the new year has brought you personally I encourage you to take this new year by faith and believe that this can truly be the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

Hebrews 12:1 aptly encourages us, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Life is likened to a “race” in this Biblical passage. With every new year we are continuing that race, reminding ourselves of the final goal, letting go of what hindered us in the past, and running forward holding nothing back.

Can you imagine it? Your life a race that all of heaven is watching, excitedly cheering you on at every turn and hurdle. Your ancestors, Biblical heroes and heroines, Jesus Himself all huddled together roaring in enthusiastic unity as they see you beating the odds, overcoming trials, and living victoriously.

That can be your 2016!

The track is set, now it’s time to lay aside any weights, and run with all you have.

What is a weight you can lay aside today?

Is it fear?
Receive God’s love, His perfect love will cast away all fear (1 John 4:19)

Is it doubt?
Raise your faith by listening to God’s word though apps like Bible.is, sermons, and podcasts (Romans 10:17)

Is it a toxic relationship or destructive habit?
In the multitude of counsel there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
Take these dangerous “weights” to Godly men and women who can offer you sound advice on how to best move forward from these situations.

Whether you may feel it or not, this is a new year and it is a new beginning. If God’s mercies are new every morning can you imagine what mercies we experience when entering a new year?

Fully embrace this year knowing this is your year when you can run to win your race!

Leave any weights and hang ups in the past where they belong. This is your year to run the race that has been set before you.

We all have a unique race to run, but no one can run our individual race for us.

With that said, know that if you don’t see a dramatic change overnight nothing is wrong with you.

You may be thinking with alarm, I’m a week into 2016 and I still haven’t changed!

Beloved, have patience with yourself. This is a race but it is a lifelong one and it will take time to grow and develop into the person you’re called to be.

Allow yourself the entire month of January to align yourself properly with the new year. Take time to consider your goals, priorities, and dreams for this year.

As one of my mentors famously said, Dream with God!

I encourage you to have some quiet time and journal what God reveals to you about His dreams for you this year.

Remember, He’s already lovingly written out every single day of your life even before you lived one (Psalm 139). Ask the author of your fate discover what He had in mind for your life in the year 2016. Ask Him how this chapter of the story of your life read. You may be surprised what He reveals.

Here are some questions to ponder or journal in this first month of the new year as you are setting aside past weights and moving forward to this new beginning of 2016:

What were the highlights of 2015?
What weights do I need to let go in 2016 that were ensnaring me in 2015?
How do I want to grow in my relationship with God this year?
What are some realistic steps I can make to be a healthier me?
What are 3 relationships I want to go deeper in this year?
Where do I need to get out of my comfort zone in this year?
Who is in my life now that can keep me accountable in these different areas?
What do I want my life to look like in 2017? What steps do I need to take to realize this?

2016 marks a new beginning, a new opportunity to grow, and to run the race set before you without any past weights!

Run your race and run it well!

Has this post inspired you to take on this year and let go of all past weights? Feel free to share any comments of your New Years resolutions.

Here at JLO we are cheering you on in this new year. Join us in our first fast of the New Year, The Waiting Woman from January 10-31. Find out more on our social media sites.

 

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