As a year rolls towards its end, many of us reflect on how the out-going year has been for us in terms of the choices and decisions we made and how that affected both us and the people around us. We also think about events that have happened to us and how it impacted our lives either positively or negatively.

Reflecting on the past is good as it helps us see areas where we need to improve or lifestyles we need to change for our own good and for the good of others. Once we have done that however, we need to move on to focus on the future.  

It is easy to get stuck in one place if we do not leave the past behind. We can fall into the trap of living in past glory that we do not see the need to improve until it is too late. In the same vein, we can become paralysed by the failure of the past, fearful of stepping forward because we think we would fail again.

A verse in the scriptures encouraged me immensely towards the end of the last year and I share it with you in the hope that it will encourage you too. This verse is taken from Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  

Earlier in this chapter, God had made many promises to the Israelites regarding victory over their enemies and how He would be with them no matter what they go through (Isaiah 43:2) Going further to the 18th verse, it seems like God is telling them, “Don’t get too excited, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There is more!”

I don’t know what you achieved last year that got you excited, God is saying, ‘walk with me and you will see what I have in store for you, better than what you experienced last year!’ If however the last year was a tough one for you and it has made you somewhat reluctant to step out in faith this year, remember that even during those tough times, God was there for you and He gave you the grace to go through it and come out on the other side.  

‘Forget the former things’ He says, I am doing a new thing! That sentence ends in an exclamation mark which connotes excitement! God wants you to be excited about what He wants to do for you and through you as you take a step of faith into the new year.  

Don’t let past failures or misfortune bring you to a standstill. Don’t let the successes of the past put you in a state of stagnation. Press forward, reach out and grab the things that God has in store for you in the new year.