How we begin one segment of time determines how we end. How we finish also determines how we start another.
It is this ending I wish to consider as 2019 comes to a close;
None of us will pass this way again.
How does this year tally? What can we carry into another year?
What we have gained should give us hope for the new year.
2019 has supposedly been a good year on the stock market? What assurance do investors have that this gain will continue through another year?
If this is all we have, we are without hope.
In years past, failed relationships, our troubled marriage, my sins, sins of the world, and issues in the church led me through the whole year. When the holiday season rolled around, there was not much to celebrate, but despondency ruled and extended into the next year.
There never seemed to be any gain until 1992 when the Lord gave me a new heart, a new spirit, and a new life. In the last half of that year, He began to fill me, and I began to know the meaning of abundant life we receive in Jesus Christ our Lord.
I have not accomplished much in the last month due to issues with our computer, but my heart is filled with thanksgiving and praise for the blessings of this year. Our heavenly Father has heaped an abundance of His grace and mercy upon our family and me even in the middle of difficulties (this is where most of our blessings are hidden).
His presence is real and powerful as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness above all else. He inhabits our praises as He leads us through each day in His Word and close fellowship with Him in prayer and intercession.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Philippians 3:8
What have we gained of Christ this year in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)? It is the eternal hope we have in Him that carries us through each year and from this world into the next.
How will you end this year and this life? Though we gain the whole world, without Him, we miss true life and eternity, here, now, and forever. Christ is all to those who know Him.
Let His Spirit fill us with praise, thanksgiving, and hope as this year of our Lord 2019 closes and a new year begins.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Gracious Father, thank you for your divisions of time. You knew well how to plan for beginnings and endings and transitions from one to the other. We praise you for beginning, sustaining, and ending all things in Christ, your Son. Fill us with your Spirit to keep us in Christ, and in your timing, bring each of us into your eternal glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.