Happy New Year 2023


As the calendar rolls over to another new year, it’s common to reflect on the past one and look forward to the new one. When that happens it normally causes us to have different emotional responses as we remember the good, the bad, and ugly things of life in the past and as we imagine those same types of things in the future. I see the same things in the disciples over and over again. For example, in Matthew 17: 22-23 which says, “Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.


On the surface it appears as if the disciples missed the point greatly. Jesus tells them not only about His death, BUT ALSO about His resurrection. What do they do? They get hung up on the bad part. I assume if we had been them, we probably would have dwelt on it as well. This proves to us how human the disciples really were, which means we can relate to their natural responses to everything that Jesus said and did.


If the last few years have proven anything to us, it should be that we are living in very transitional times. It’s human nature to get downhearted about all the things that are out of our control. We can choose to be fearful about the future or we can decide to remain faithful to the values that we personally believe. Change is never easy, but it can be an opportunity to strengthen our reliance on God. I personally have found that when I’m faced with times of uncertain change, I pray more often and more intentionally. This makes me understand how much I actually depend upon God to help me endure until He helps me to overcome my changing circumstances. Instead of dwelling on my difficulties, I need to prayerfully lay them at God’s feet, letting Him do what I can’t, and allowing Him to lead me where He wants.