It is very easy to begin another year and fight to get back to the usual because this is what we work hard for. We want things to be consistent and predictable. This makes us feel we are in control providing us a sense of security to manage all the variables that can take place on a job, a country, health, and decisions we may make. The funny thing is nothing about God is consistently the same other than His Word, Christ at the right hand of the Father, and His promises. This past year should certainly serve as a constant reminder.
Anyone who surrendered their lives to Christ in the scriptures had a non-predictable life. Abraham had a normal life until he is called out of Haran. David had a normal life as a shepherd until he was called by God to be a king. Joseph had a predictable comfortable life until he obeyed his father and went to meet his brothers. Paul felt that he was in control until he met Christ on the road to Damascus and then nothing in Paul’s life was on the regular. Some people did not want to surrender their lives (for example Peter and John Mark) only for God to keep rocking their faith until they finally surrendered; “…….. “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, ” Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17; NASU)
Some people are miserable because they keep wanting God to fulfill their will rather than surrender to His will for their lives so God has to send one trial after another to redirect them, like in the case of Jonah, rather than refine them like He was finally able to do for Peter; “In this, you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7; NASU)
Are we going to spend this year growing or complaining and murmuring? Are we going to spend this year just seeking His blessings or be determined to be a blessing? Are we going to seek for God to resolve all our problems or trust Him to use the problems to mature us in the faith (James 1:2-4), and develop Christian character (Romans 5:3-5)? Are we in His race (Hebrews 12:1-3) or are we going to seek God to only give us a bigger taste of this life (1 John 2:15-17)? What is going to be different this year in our walk with God? (Psalm 86:11) What steps are we going to take to grow deeper? (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-4). We must allow for His redirection because this leads to a greater experience of our Lord and a greater impact as we trust and serve Him.