Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Life-Plan for the New Year

God is the God of new beginnings

A Life-Plan for the New Year

The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a New Year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. Common New Year’s resolutions are commitments to quit bad habits or to stop wrong practices and corrupt communication, to manage time and finance more wisely, and to spend more time with family. By far, the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. (Which by the way, is the number one resolution according to polls)These are all good goals to set. Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. However, it’s a time to look ahead with a sense of anticipation and excitement towards the new things God wants to do in our lives. It is a time to stop and analyze, to take stock of our priorities, values, pursuits, and goals. We need to ask questions like "Who am I, what am I doing with my life? What should I be doing as a child of God with my life and the stewardship God has given me?" After all, according to the Holy Scripture, all of life is a stewardship--a stewardship of our time, talents, treasures, and God's truth. 

We cannot live on yesterday's blessings nor should we dwell on yesterday's failures and disappointments. This is a time to forget the past and move forward into the present and the future.

I heard about a story that some men years ago who was on a leaky old ship, in the middle of a rough and stormy sea. And they were actually fearful for their lives. They didn't know whether they were going to sink or not. So one of them went in to see the captain and said, "Captain, are we safe?" He said, "Well, I'll put it to you this way." He said, "The boilers on this ship are very weak and may explode at any moment." He said, "Also, the ship is very old, and she's taking on water." So he said, "To be very honest with you, we may have an explosion, or we may sink." He said, "We may go up, or we may go down, but at any rate, we are going on." And that's the way we are as we face this New Year. Jesus may come, we may go up. We may die, and go down and then up, but at any rate we are going on. We're going on. We're facing a brand new year, and we don't know what it's going to bring. It is a season of setting new goals and putting into effect those things you have been putting off doing. It can be a day of new beginnings for each one of us.

Ask question

In the Lord every day should be a day of new beginnings. The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. Life is often defined by the questions we ask. The questions we are asking often reveal what we are thinking – or the direction we are going.  To that end, here are few questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God at the emergence of New Year

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to develop your intimacy with God?  

2. What's the single most important discipline you could apply to improve the quality of your life this year?

3. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year to refine your character and develop your skill?

4. What one thing you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

5. What’re the important steps and efforts you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy that you will leave to your next generation?

6. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?
The values of many of these above questions are not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating. In what area of your life do you most need change and what will you do about it this year is more likely to facilitate you to make a positive change than if you hadn't considered the question?

I want to share with you about some resolutions; some commitments which I guarantee will make a radical difference in my life and your life if you follow through on them. In fact, what I want to do is to offer to you some biblical principle as a way of starting the New Year which could significantly change your life. Here they are

Seek To Honor God in All We Do


 “For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”(1 Corinthians 6:20)
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless we have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself? So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should we make?

  1Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The Scripture says, “physical training is of some value.”  Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and we believe that properly taking care of our physical nature is a means of glorifying God. But comparatively speaking physical training is of little value in relation to spiritual training.  “Godliness has value for all things.”  Godliness impacts every area of our personal life, family, church, work and our society at large.  And this godliness holds “promise for both the present life and the life to come.” That’s why we need to “train ourselves to be godly.”  Surely the apostle Paul is speaking here of the spiritual development and disciplines we volitionally participate in that contribute to a growth in godliness such as Bible reading and study, Scripture memorization, prayer and praise, church participation and service.

“Train” translates the Greek word (gumnaze) from which we get the English word “gym”. It is in the present, active, imperative, which indicates a present, ongoing action we participate in and is strongly enjoined upon us. “It is not the self-centered ascetic struggle of the individual for his own moral and religious perfection, but the training necessary for the unhindered pursuit of God’s purposes.  This exercise was a vigorous development and application of all Paul’s strength and ability that he might bring glory to God with every thought and action.”  “Train yourself to be godly!”  A foundational component of this training is the implementation of God’s Word to our hearts so that it is carried out in our actions.   What we need to realize is that, what you think about Heaven determines what think about the present. C.S. Lewis said, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.” Paul says that an eternal perspective, about “godliness.” and so he is saying what kind of person ought you to be in heart and in behavior, in motive and in action, in attitude and in duty” because Godliness impacts every area of our life for both the present life and the life to come. Remember, in regard to the pursuit of godliness we are always in training!

Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact of our lives because this is how we receive the strength, wisdom, & patience we need to endure & succeed. It’s only through our fellowship with God that we can truly affect other people's lives in a way that lasts eternally. our genuine intimacy with the Father through prayer, the study of His Word, worship, & times of praise will become evident in every area of our life—& that will positively affect the influence that we have with every person we encounter.  As the Creator of all that exists, God has the power to conform all circumstances to His will, and He can bring a good result from your situation if you will obey Him. Just remember that His directions are for your growth, benefit, and protection and you can always count on Him to lead you down the best path possible. Your choice in this situation will determine your spiritual growth and the quality of your relationship with the Father. Therefore, obey Him and leave whatever consequence is causing you anxiety in His capable hands.

Forget the Past

Firstly we require the attitude of letting go of the old. There are people who are resolute about holding on to the past. Many things have happened to us in the last year that caused us pain, guilt and regret. We have a store of unhappy and unholy memories. Absolutely nothing good can come out of keeping alive the past that is dead. Yet we have a tendency to cling on to this past. We end up then living our life from the premises of our past experiences. If this is so, we are incapable of living this New Year in the vision that God has for us. Therefore along with the New Year, God is offering us the grace at this blessed moment to forget the past.
With the advent of New Year, a new era begins and with it comes new hopes and new possibilities. This is now the time to contemplate on our previous years. Have we learned something from our previous endeavors? It’s never too late to start again. We have the opportunity to make it right this time. Every year teaches us some of life's most important lessons, and with that learning we put our step forward and stand on the threshold of a new year. Most people generally look at the New Year as a fresh beginning, as an opportunity to kind of start over, to overcome a habit, or do a better job of something they see as important and that needs improvement. It may be parenting, being a better spouse etc. It may be developing different priorities, using our time better, or a whole host of things that people would like to change. So, we usually hear a lot about New Year's resolutions, resolutions which are usually broken in a matter of weeks. Many people are very pessimistic about the whole issue of making resolutions, and rightly so, because so many good intentions are followed by a history of past failures.

Some People carry a great burden of complaints. Their bitter experiences of the arrogance of the offensive words and deeds of others leave them disillusioned. People never rose up to their expectations. When people linger on with these thoughts, many linger on in time; they are consumed by the fire of anger and bitterness. They slip into self pity or languish in guilt. When we provide room for such ugly emotions and attitudes, the peace of our heart is quenched. God does not want us to dwell in the past.
Bible says “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

God has a reason in asking us to remember not the things of the past. Perhaps we have made a mess of our life. Failures, frustrations, sins and sufferings, hurts and offences have marked our journey. With this heavy burden we cannot move forward. Whatever might have happened, we need to leave it all to the ocean of the mercy of God. We are called to trust Him for He promises us to meet us where we are.

2000yrs ago St.Paul gave this advice "One Thing I Do, Forgetting What Lies Behind And Straining Forward To What Lies Ahead" (Philippians 3:13) “Forgetting what is behind and marching forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” That advice from Bible has stood the test of time. I don’t know of any more relevant and practical advice for us at the start of 2013. All of us have failed in some way in our lives over the last year. Probably we won’t see our failures recorded for history but they are recorded in our hearts and minds.  For many of us our failures are painful memories. Maybe for you it is a memory of how you failed in a relationship. You made the wrong decisions, said and did the wrong things and the relationship ended.  We must not allow ourselves to be bogged down by our past failures. That we have not dwelt on our past so that it stops us moving forward into the future that God has for us. I think that the start of New Year is a good time for you to rise to that challenge. To say to yourself, I am going to, with help of God, forget my past. I am going to stop being chained to my past failures... And use the 8,760 hours of this year the wisest way I can as peter said "Cast All Your Anxieties On Him, For He Cares About You" (1 Peter 5:7)

Give up your grudges.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14NIV)

Make the year of 2013 a significant turning point in your life. St Paul said “Bear with each other and forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another”. A grudge is a deep ongoing resentment that we cultivate in our hearts against someone else. A grudge is an unforgiving spirit that leads to unforgiving attitudes and unforgiving actions. What we need to know is that grudges are dangerous because they are destructive. Grudges destroy marriages. Grudges break up families. Grudges ruin friendships. Grudges split communities. Let’s be honest enough to admit that one of the scandals of the modern society is the grudges that we hold against one another. Grudges are not just destructive they are also self-destructive.

When you hold a grudge against someone you will hurt yourself as much and perhaps more than you will hurt the person you are holding it against. Make no mistake about it, if you keep harboring a grudge then it will eventually destroy you, if not physically, certainly emotionally and spiritually. It will make you a bitter and twisted person.

Set yourself free. Give up your grudges “forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another.” What better time to make that difficult decision to forgive than the start of a New Year. 

Maintain and restore relationship

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”(Romans 12:9-10) “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”(Romans 17-18)

Bible says If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” The Lord wants you to do everything you can to restore any relationships that have gone wrong in your life Some relationships might have gone wrong in your life because of what other people have done and they might well not want that relationship restored.” it is saying if you have caused a rift in a relationship then you have a responsibility to do everything you can to restore it. That everything includes the one thing we all probably find most difficult, asking for forgiveness. I am certain that some of us who are married need to ask forgiveness for “harsh words and cutting remarks” that have really wounded our partners over the years.

Maybe God is saying to some of you that this change of year is the right time to restore that relationships you ruined by going and sincerely saying that you are sorry for those angry words or those selfish and unthoughtfull actions. It is also going back and making things right for hurtful things I’ve said or done. It’s far easier for me to tell you some story than to tell you of the difficult and painful times I’ve had to ask my wife, my boys, my boss, friends and co workers to forgive me. Restitution is asking forgiveness for harsh words, quick tongue, or cutting remarks. It is asking forgiveness from a brother you hurt, a mother you caused heartache to, or a spouse which you maligned. Restitution is confessing and seeking forgiveness from an old business partner, neighbor, or roommate. It is admitting my past errors in relationships and humbly seeking forgiveness from the one I’ve hurt. Make no mistake it will be hard to do but one of the most significant things that you can do to mark the New Year is not set off a firework but to admit your past errors in relationships and humbly seek forgiveness from the one you have hurt. 


“God is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.” (Job 36:5)
Behold, God is mighty, he does not despise his own people,   whom he has loved and chosen, redeemed and called; This is a clear plain truth, easy to be discerned, and worthy of notice, and therefore introduced with a "behold"; that God is mighty, the most mighty, the Almighty, as appears from his works of nature and providence; making all things out of nothing, upholding them by the word of his power, and governing and overruling all things in the world, and doing in it whatever he pleases: and from the works of redemption and grace; ransoming his people out of the hands of them that are stronger than they; converting them by the power of his grace; assisting them to do all they do in a spiritual way; supporting them under all their troubles; protecting and defending them from all their enemies; supplying all their wants, and preserving them safe to his kingdom and glory; God created us with a definite purpose in mind and He is firm in his purpose. All things begin and end with purpose. Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains. You are the creation that can meet God's desired result. Fulfilling God’s purpose must be the primary goal of every person. Bible affirms that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”(Proverbs 19:21)

Nothing will bring you joy more than knowing what it is that you are about on this earth. Not knowing the purpose brings sadness, wondering, fear and lack of fulfillment. Above all, find out what your unique purpose is here on this earth—then fulfill it! As you do, you will experience joy!  It is one thing to know your purpose, but then you need to live according to that purpose. This is a matter of priorities. Let your actions and schedule reflect your purpose. Don't react to circumstances and let them cause you to live without your purpose fully in sight. Living without your purpose will cause frustration. Living purposefully will bring you deep satisfaction and joy!

What a joy to seek an eternal purpose and perspective as we begin a new year. David wrote Psalm 65 some 3,000 years ago; “You crown the year with your goodness, and richness overflows wherever you are.” (Psalm 65:11 GOD'S Word)  God’s goodness is going to be made manifest in 2013 by abundance and we know that God crowns each year with his goodness. This has been the case from beginning of times and beyond!  in the thankful cries of the psalmists who reflect the care of God for his people we see a God who is there in the darkest night, in the most hopeless of situations, who provides strength support, nourishment and sustenance time and again. God provides for us, he allows us the strength to raise our heads up and hope. He restores the joy to our living; he is our hope and salvation. As we entered in to a new year, let us pray that 2013 will be a year filled with love, hope, and peace.

Live wisely

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) “My times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:15.
Life and Times are very unique gifts from our God. When Adam violated God’s word he activated death and we lost our life & glory and become slave to sin and the limitations of time, death and space. As we all know, sooner or later, every single one of us is going to die and cross over to the other side.  The death of the body, some day, is strangely linked, in a way that we do not fully comprehend, with the death which is at work in our inner lives, right now. That is, inner death is what we experience in a thousand ways - sometimes as loneliness, bitterness, emptiness, despair, depression of spirit, and sometimes it is malice and resentment and violence.

Whatever it may be, it is not what God intended for man. It is an enemy which has seized man and lives with him and haunts him in everything he does. When our hopes crush, & dreams collapse, the Grace and Love of Jesus is designed to relieve and to bring hope to us. God send His son to restore us back to everlasting life. Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”(John 10:10)Therefore the greatest gift God ever given to mankind is Jesus. Jesus defeated the death and demons by his risen power. And the result is everlasting life and peace instead of condemnation and restlessness, acceptance rather than guilt, love in place of lust or hate, power to replace weakness, joy for mourning, beauty for ashes, hope for despair, courage in place of cowardice, and cleansing from all dirt and filth of spirit. Bible says “blessed are the dead...who die in the Lord.” Jesus is our life and will be our life forever. He is indispensable and He is all-sufficing. He is our joy unspeakable and full of glory. Without every other we may live, but without Him we cannot.

The great Judge of all men had passed the sentence of death upon all the race of man (Romans 5:12). Jesus came to revoke this death sentence and to give life unto men. He says to all, “I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”  Look up, the day of glory is soon to break upon us with its gladness and rapture, “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:17). Then shall the last tear have dimmed our eyes, and we shall see each other clothed in the unfading, incorruptible beauty of the Lord.”Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2) “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones...” (Ps. 116:15)”God himself will be with them and be their God and He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more Death” (Rev.21:4)

Let it be our prayer as we enter in to 2013 “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. Let it be our resolution this year, I will seek His kingdom rather than possessions, Godliness rather than selfishness. I will seek to please God more than respectable before men; I will meditate God’s word daily, think quietly, talk gently, and act honestly. I will listen to Godly advice, Nature and birds, babes and saints, with an open heart. I will bear all things cheerfully, do all things bravely await occasions and hurry never.
 Make the most of every opportunity.

Another wonderful gift from God is Time. Time is past, present and history. All sorrows in the world are compensated with time, as they rightly say time is the best healer. Time waits for no man and time once lost cannot be re-created so it is pretty much important for everyone to make the best use of time to get the best of time in the present as well as in the future.

We live in a world of disadvantages. We live in a world that often holds the upper hand to our dreams, our desires, and ultimately to our destinies. Oftentimes men allow their entire minds to be set at doubt and discouragement because of the seeming disadvantages their life seems to bring. Homer who wrote the Odyssey and John Milton who wrote Paradise Lost were blind. Beethoven was deaf when he composed some of the world's greatest symphonies, so there is a hope for everyone who lives on the planet of earth. But question is not how long we live but how effectively we will live? Just think of the time wasted in doing wrong. Think of the time wasted in shallow affairs. Think of the time wasted in gossiping or spreading rumors. Or think about all the time wasted worrying about the consequences of the evil we have committed. That’s the same mistake you & I make almost every day. We get so caught up in the temporary things and fail to deal with the eternal, the things that will last forever & ever. There are so many demands on our time, so many good things that need to be done in this brief life. But there are just 8,760 hours in this year, make the most of every opportunity, so what are we to do.

What we do today, determines where we will stand tomorrow and the person who makes the best use of time today gets the best of life in the future. Time has created kings as well as beggars. Riches turn into rags and rags to riches over a matter of time. Every work that we do requires time and time cannot be negotiated or replaced. The best use of time will most likely give you the best in life. Some things in life are beyond our control and we need to make up for things before things run out of time.

Time management involves carefully analyzing how we currently spend every minute of our day and then determining ways we can make better use of those minutes. This often includes eliminating many or all of the time wasters that each of us must contend with on a daily basis. It also involves learning to set priorities.
Most people in the world are driven by wrong priorities that occupy and control their entire lives. Psychologist Abraham Maslow, who after studying the motivations of human behavior, concluded that all human behavior is driven by the same basic “hierarchy of needs”: water, food, clothes, housing, protection, security, preservation, self-actualization, and significance. However, Jesus affirmed God’s number-one priority for all human on the planet He said “…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt 6:25,33).If our priorities are correct, we preserve and protect our life. When we establish our priority according to God’s purpose then our success is guaranteed. Correct priority simplifies our life. Failure to establish correct priority causes us to waste our time & energy.

Every second we have in life is a gift from God. Has it ever occurred to you that for you to cease living, God would not have to take your life? All God would have to do is stop giving you time. “Your time is in His hands.” You are a steward of the time He has given you. We have 86,400 seconds in a day no more, no less. Our responsibility today is evaluate the day. How do we redeem our 86,400 seconds each day to the glory of God? Are you lagging behind God or running ahead of Him?

Have a Faith in God

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Confidence means: a firm belief or trust, an assurance or faith that causes one to stand. Therefore, if we will put our trust in God it will cause us to stand in the evil day when Satan comes to test us, and I can assure you that evil day will come. It comes to every Believer at one time or another. We must remember that Satan hates God and His Children which you are one, so it’s not rocket science to know Satan doesn’t like you and me, and he will do what he can to discourage us, defeat us, and make us doubt God. Satan will come with a test or trial to try your faith in God. He wants you to believe God’s Word will not work; don’t think you are in this boat alone. All the other Saints are in the boat with you. Therefore, don’t ever let Satan get you to let go of the Word of God by agreeing with him. If you do, you lose, and he wins.

 So “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recommence of reward.” Hebrews 10:35.

 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. “1 John 5:14

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.” Ephesians 3:12

 “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:25

 “My covenant (promise) will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips”. Psalms 89:34

The old map makers, before they had the modern instruments that we have, when they would draw maps, they would draw maps as far out as they had been, as far out as they had explored, and then when they reached the nether point of their exploration, they had not known what would be beyond. And we can see this on old maps; they would write on there, "Beyond this, there may be dragons." Now they'd never seen a dragon, but they didn't know what was out there. And so they would always think that what were in the future, beyond this there may be dragons, because they're afraid of the future, they're afraid of the uncharted. They're afraid of the unknown. Beyond this there'd be dragons. Well actually beyond this, there were golden beaches, verdant fields, and rivers of gold and beautiful things. But so far as they were concerned, it was uncharted and unknown and therefore fearful. And that's the way many of us feel about the future.
We're facing a brand new year, and most of us are afraid of the unknown. As we don't know what this year is going to bring then perhaps you face this New Year with some fear. God never meant you to live the Christian life by your own wisdom or ability. This is what the Lord revealed to the apostle Paul when He said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2cor.12:9).

Enhance your confidence

Here’s a good resolution for 2013. Enhance your social skills by developing your confidence. It is one important aspect to focus on this New Year. Believe in God and yourself. Your goal is to improve your Intimacy with God. Gain more knowledge of God, it would help you establish your stature. Have faith in God and your potential. As they say “no guts, no glory” A good resolution would enable you improve your hidden talents. In your 2013 resolution list, add confidence in it. It is a good foundation in establishing your future.
There can be little doubt that we are living in a very important era in the long panorama of earth’s history. Change is taking place at a pace never before imagined, must less witnessed. I firmly believe these changes are a part of God’s plan for the world and, although I don’t know all the ins and outs of that plan, I do know few things: When governments and leaders continue to fail us, human philosophies collapse and life is crashing down around us, rediscovering the ways of God will become our guide through the deceitful storms of the 21st century. All of the past ideologies have failed—humanism, communism, totalitarianism, fascism, socialism and even democracy. But there is a philosophy, an ideology that will not fail, for it was bore in the heart of God Himself.  

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

There are trials in life that we immediately recognize as too large and too difficult to face on our own. They are beyond our resources and scope of influence, and they threaten to consume those things that are most important to us. The Father allows these struggles to shake our confidence to show us that "the battle is not yours but God's" (2 Chr. 20:15). He understands that it is only when we see His faithful character and leadership exhibited in our biggest challenges that we learn to trust Him with every aspect of our lives.
In Lamentations 3: 31–33, 40), Jeremiah explains, "The Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant loving-kindness For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men. .. Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord". God uses the adversity in our lives for several reasons: to get our attention, develop important character traits, teach us to rely only on Him, and train us to minister to others. The point that is important for us today, however, is that the difficulties will not last forever. They have an appointed time and purpose, and we can profit greatly from them if we will simply trust the Father and set our hearts to learn from Him. Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time. The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.

God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a New Year: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).We can live this coming year without fear if we apply God’s wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

God never meant you to live the Christian life by your own wisdom or ability. This is what the Lord revealed to the apostle Paul when He said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2cor.12:9).

Value discernment above gifts

 The Church is exploding in Asia. There are many examples of miracles, works, and powers happening in these places and they are genuine. As the future unfolds, one of the most needed of the spiritual gifts will be that of discernment. Pastors, teachers, elders, and others in positions of spiritual authority will need to be deeply educated in the criteria of discernment, or at least in recognizing those who have this gift, even in its embryonic forms. Anytime there is a period of increased Holy Spirit activity, and this is without a doubt one of those times, the potential for the Great Deceiver to lead many astray is great. We live in an age that is ripe for deception. Trained, gifted discerners are in critical need.

Lack of discernment and an unscriptural emphasis on experience beyond the confines of Scripture are major stumbling blocks for the majority of Christians who are open to the supernatural and revelatory realms of God…..When it comes to gifts of miraculous powers and prophecy, we need mature elders in every church who are equipped with the gift of discernment to watch over the flock. We also need apostolic voices who will release guidelines for discernment in the years to come, as the sense of God’s Presence and power increases throughout the world – growing alongside the “tares” of this world, evidenced in soulishly and demonically induced counterfeit expressions of power. Right now, we are sadly equipped with too few apostolic leaders who are respected enough to speak the truth in love about these issues of discernment and correction. And we have too few humble church leaders who are open to correction from apostolic leaders, regardless of their denominational preferences, networks, or alliances.

There is a deep hunger for wisdom in our time, but the church offers up little more than sugary nostalgia with a dash of fear. There is a yearning for redemption, healing, and wholeness that is palpable, a shift in human consciousness that is widely recognized – except, it seems, in most churches….Strangely, we have come to a moment in human history when the message of the Sermon on the Mount could indeed save us, but it can no longer be heard above the din of dueling doctrines. Consider this: there is not a single word in that sermon about what to believe, only words about what to do. It is a behavioral manifesto, not a propositional one. Yet three centuries later, when the Nicene Creed became the official oath of Christendom, there was not a single word in it about what to do, only words about what to believe!

 Jesus always valued relationships over rules. Whether it was healing a person on the Sabbath or sharing a meal with a known “sinner,” Jesus acted in unpredictable, unexpected, and life changing ways. And the fact is, wherever the Master traveled and ministered, two things inevitably happened. People’s lives were changed and the established religious order was upset…..Relationships, not rules, should take precedence in our lives. Love, not legalism, must reign. Many legalists in our own day, just like the Pharisees, don’t think they should hang around “evil people.” They think they should avoid them and thus avoid being contaminated. But the church today, just as Jesus did, must get beyond stained glass and gates and walls and get into the community and be light where it is so urgently needed.

Pursue the Godliness with contentment

 First Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain.” For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Discontentment is a disease, and it takes away your joy and it takes away your peace.  And what is contentment?  Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have.  You see, contentment will make a poor man rich.  And discontentment makes a poor man poor   no matter how much you have, if you're discontented, you're really poor.  Sometimes we want things we don't need.  Sometimes we need things we don't need.  And we get all mixed up. "But godliness with contentment is great gain."   If you know God personally, then you have contentment.  And then he explains it, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  But having food and raiment let us therewith be content."  If you've got something on your back, and something to eat, and you have Jesus Christ in your heart, you're blessed. Material things can never bring contentment, and the reason they cannot bring contentment is that material things can never satisfy the deepest need of your heart.  That's the reason the Bible says in Ecclesiastes Chapter 5 and verse 10, "He that loveth silver shall never be satisfied with silver."  Either you can't get enough of it, or when you get it, you find out it doesn't meet your need.
 Jesus explained it in Luke Chapter 12 and verse 15, He said, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man's life consisted not in the abundance of the things which he possesses."  How true that is.  Your deepest needs will never be met by material things.  Nothing wrong with material things, they just simply cannot satisfy the deepest longing of your heart. 

Make Christ your Companion (Luke 24:13-32GNT)

“On that same day two of Jesus' followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened.  As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?” They stood still, with sad faces. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn't know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”
 “What things?” he asked.“The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive.  Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?”  And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, “Wasn't it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
One of the greatest assurances of eternal life or life after death is anchored in the forty incredible days Jesus spent on the earth after His resurrection.  During this dramatic season of heaven on earth in which Jesus made several appearances, we gain invaluable insight into the priorities of our life and following Christ.   We celebrates the advent of Christ with grate fervor, which is better known as Christmas, and traditional faith honors the Passion of Christ, which includes the death, burial, and resurrection.  We also have an enormous amount of information exploring the three amazing years of Jesus public ministry before the crucifixion, but we should be careful not to miss the significance of His resurrection which is the cornerstone of Christian faith. It is precisely because the physical resurrection of Christ is at the very heart of Christian faith and Hope.

The above narrative of Luke gospel we learn about the resurrection and a kind of demonstrative particle designed to focus our attention on an important lesson to be gleaned from what follows in the actions of the two disciples journey from Jerusalem to a village named Emmaus, and the arrival of the risen Christ who came along side to minister to them. Rather than proclaiming a message of a victorious and risen Savior, we find these two disciples in conversation, leaving Jerusalem, scared, dejected, and perplexed. Here was a walk of sadness and gloom, of frustration and doubt; a walk filled with deliberation and discussion, but without answers and understanding, and thereby, without comfort; going, but without sense of mission and purpose. But the interesting point is what they were discussing. The text tells us they were conversing “about all that had taken place.” Their conversation was centered on the death, burial, and reports of the resurrection of Christ, a very wonderful topic of conversation and one which should have brought joy, hope, a sense of victory, and purpose. But instead, it brought sadness, retreat, and a sense of loss. “And it came about that while they were conversing” introduces us to a significant time element which shows us that right in the middle of their plight of perplexity, the Lord Himself came on the scene. Someone graciously and lovingly enters the scene. The Savior Himself comes along side. Here, then, we see the love and desire of the Savior to draw near and to draw us to Himself, to make the things of Christ (or His life) dear and real to us. The purpose, of course, includes bringing comfort and change to our countenances, but more importantly, He wants to change our lives and make us like Him. Really, the issue is never a matter of His presence, but of our awareness of His presence. Christ is not in the grave. He is risen, but even as the risen Lord who has ascended, He is still never remote to us though we may not be relating to His love and presence. He is always near and interested in us wherever we go whether in the city, in the country, on the road, in the garden, in the church, in the home, at work, every place. He is always there, but do we perceive His presence? We now come to the results—the amazing transformation that occurred in these two men as a result of their fellowship and submission to the presence of the Savior.

And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him . . .” Their problem had been one of perception, but now in verse 31 we see the power of the Word to give light and spiritual sight. Suddenly they were able to perceive that this new companion and fellow traveler was the none other than the Lord Himself and they began to perceive and experience the reality of His presence.

Right at the heart of resurrection lies the central purpose of God - to glorify Himself by redeeming the mankind and giving a new hope and everlasting life. Resurrection of Jesus made all the difference in the world. The death of the body, some day, is strangely linked, in a way that we do not fully comprehend, with the death which is at work in our inner lives, right now. That is, death is all one thing, whether it takes place and affects the physical body some day, or whether it is taking place within the spirit of man today. It is all of a piece. And that inner death is what we experience in a thousand ways - sometimes as loneliness, bitterness, emptiness, despair, depression of spirit,  and sometimes it is malice and resentment and violence. Whatever it may be, it is not what God intended for man. It is an enemy which has seized man and lives with him and haunts him in everything he does. The glorious hope as it is in Jesus, is that Jesus Christ, in dying and rising from the dead, that he defeated it by his risen power. And the result  is peace instead of restlessness, acceptance rather than guilt, love in place of lust or hate, power to replace weakness, joy for mourning, beauty for ashes, hope for despair, courage in place of cowardice, and cleansing from all dirt and filth of spirit.

Physical resurrection of Christ is affirmed in the canon of Scripture. When the Jewish leaders asked for a miraculous sign, Jesus answered, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days" (John 2:19). Scripture confirms that the temple he was speaking of was the temple of his own body (see v.21). John states: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched -- this we proclaim concerning [Jesus] the Word of Life" (1 John 1:1).

Easter stands for the presence of Christ with us to meet the pressures of life as they come to us day by day. When our hopes crush, & dreams collapse, the resurrection of Jesus is designed to relieve and to bring hope to us. We celebrate Easter and the great triumph of Christ over the grave. We are also given the assurance that we will not be alone in the hour of death. There will be a divine companion with us; a hand will steady us through this time. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," {Heb 13:5. he said to his disciples, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will not abandon you," {John 14:18. Many of the martyrs and those who have died have borne testimony to that fact. When D. L. Moody, the great evangelist, was dying, his last words were, "Earth is receding, heaven is approaching; this is my crowning day."Easter is a reminder that we need have no fear about death.

Jesus said to disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:1-3

Those are strong words, and great assurance in the hour of death. There are also many promises in the Bible that give us assurance that beyond grave there is an Everlasting life. Paul says, "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us," {Rom 8:18b
The promise of the resurrection had been extended by Jesus to all of us  as well, that he himself had said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live," John 11:25 "Because I live, you shall live also, “John 14:19. And out of that open tomb has arisen a blazingly radiant, flaming hope which has gripped and held the hearts of thousands and millions since, through the centuries, who have had to face the fact and the experience of death.

 Have faith in His promise

Hebrews 13:6 promises, " So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?  The word “fear” doesn’t mean terror. We are not to be afraid of the Lord. The word “fear” is translated reverence. We are to reverence the Lord, have an attitude of deep respect and love. The scripture says, “In the reverence of the Lord is STRONG CONFIDENCE”. Not a weak and wavering confidence but a confidence that is strong and that will not give up when the pressures of live come.
MK 11:22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "

 David Livingstone wrote in his journal this word, "This is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honor."  So that's the end to it.  He just simply said, "Jesus has said, I'll never leave you."  And then he wrote this, he said, "I will not cross furtively as I had intended.  Why should such a man as I flee?  I shall take observations for latitude and longitude tonight, though it may be the last, I feel quite calm now.  Thank God."  I'm so glad he wrote that in his journal.  There's a man in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by wild animals and savage people who has felt the presence of the Lord Jesus.  This is what he's saying.  Look at it.  "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  When I'm discouraged, His presence sees me through.  When I'm lonely His presence cheers me up.  When I'm worried, His presence calms me down.  And when I am tempted, and oh I'm going to be tempted this coming year, and so will you be, His presence will help me out.   You see, we need just to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year.  You're going to be tempted, and my dear friend, you cannot close doors.  There are no locked doors with God.  The thing that I think helps keep us all straight is to know that Jesus Christ never leaves us, never forsakes us.  And when the devil comes and knocks at our heart's door, we can just simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."  The Lord is there with us to take care of us.

   So here, how do you face a new year without fear?  Well you find your contentment in Christ.  You find your companionship in Christ.  You find your confidence in Christ.  And then you'll find your comfort in Christ, so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."    The Lord is my helper, I will not, I will not, by the grace of God, I will not fear.  We don't know.  We don't know what's going to happen.  We don't know what this coming year is going to be.  I just don't know.  But I do know that I can boldly say, "The Lord will be my helper." 

Share knowledge with others

“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”( 2 Timothy 2:2)
To make your New Year’s resolution list complete, add teaching into it. You’ve learned something throughout the years. Why not pass it down to your younger brother? Remember, life is a never ending process of making mistakes. Every day is a chance to learn something new. Exchange information with other people. The goal is to spread knowledge to world. A good resolution allows you to impart a remarkable memory to the next generation. This new year leave a meaningful legacy to the world. Start by sharing your knowledge and make your 2013 a momentous year.

Give Others Honor. 
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. “(Romans 12:10)
 Honor means -In showing or manifesting respect or honor. Not in seeking honor, or striving after respect, but in showing it to one another. Most of the time we give people respect based on what they have done or what they have accomplished. We gauge whether or not they are "worthy" of it based on what we know of what they have achieved or who they know or are related to. But we should have a higher standard: We respect people not for what they have done or for who they are related to or for what they can do for us. Instead, we respect people for simply being God’s image.
Give Others Your Care.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”( Galatians 6:2 )

It brings happiness to accumulate. It brings joy to give away. Sure, getting the car you worked hard for will bring you a sense of satisfaction and even happiness. But it won't bring you joy. Giving something away to the less fortunate will bring you deep, abiding joy. Too many people are running around this old earth not caring about others. The days of "Look Out for Number One" and "Winning through Intimidation" are over! Let's bring about a new day when we can care about others and succeed! Take the time to show people you care. Listen to them. Empathize with them. Love them. Now, I don't mean that you have to go around hugging everyone—but we can take some time to step back from business and be human!  when we do so, our business succeeds as well!
Give Others Your Experience.
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. “(Galatians 6:10 )

 We all have areas that we excel in and they are usually areas that we have experience in. One of the things we can do to make our lives more meaningful and be of utmost help to others is to show them the way through the experiences we have. Sometimes it will be what they should do: Shortcuts to take, people to meet etc. Sometimes it will be what they should not do: Shortcuts not to take and people to stay away from! Whatever it is, we can be of service to others by giving them our experience and ultimately it will make us all better!
Give Others Your Help. 
“Whoever closes the cry of the poor his ear to will himself call out and not be answered.”(Proverbs 21:13 )

All in all, what we want to do is to help others.  If we will "help others get what they want, we will in turn get what we want." If we want to be successful, we should consider ourselves servants of other people. What can we do to help them and make them better? This is the true path to greatness and success, not only in business but in life!
King Solomon gives very specific details of 10 precepts or principles that we should live by in order to have long life, prosperity and peace. Every day make it a part of your life. I believe that it will change our lives.
1.      Let love and faithfulness never leave you.
2.      Trust and love God with all your Heart.
3.      Do not be wise in your own eyes.
4.      Honor the Lord with your body, soul, spirit and wealth.
5.      Do not despise the Poor.
6.      Search diligently for knowledge, understanding and wisdom
7.      Fear God.
8.      Do good to those who deserve.
9.      Love your neighbor as yourself.
10.  Stay away from all evil

The one who gives contentment and the one who will be your companion is God. Will you invite Him into your life? If you have The Almighty as your companion you can face the New Year without fear. May this New Year bring you immense happiness in all you do. “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeeds” Psalm 20:4, happy New year