Happy New Year! What do you think: Does God have New Year’s resolutions? Of course not – not in the sense that He needs to improve anything about Himself. On the other hand, He does have things He wants to accomplish this year, and He wants to accomplish them in you! In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Over the next three days, we’re going to look at six ways God wants to bless you in 2023. We will start today with the first two.
- God wants to bless you, first of all, with a clear understanding of His love for you, especially when you look at your past. When you see your past through God’s eyes of truth and love, rather than through your own eyes of self-pity and self-justification, the first thing you see is how much God has done for you every day of your life. Recognizing His hand in your past and acknowledging all He has done for you will free you from much of your pain, your resentment, and your self-pity.
The prophet Isaiah understood this when he wrote, “I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD” (Isaiah 63:7). Praising God for His blessings in your life will help free you from regret. So yes, look to your past and acknowledge all God has done for you.
- At the same time, when you look at your past, God wants to bless you with an awareness of your own sin. How is that a blessing? It’s because God knows that before you can receive the blessings He has in mind for your future, He needs to help you deal with your past. He knows that regrets about your past can drag you down and keep you from receiving all He wants to give you. Don’t try to pretend you haven’t caused Him great pain. Don’t try to deny the dirt on your hands and on your heart. Isaiah is talking about you and me when he says, “They rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit” (Is. 63:10).
God wants a relationship with you. He wants to be your God, and He wants you to be His child. When you rebel against Him, which you do every time you sin, it breaks His heart, and it destroys your relationship with Him.
God loves you and has done so much for you, but you have rebelled against Him and made yourself His enemy. We need to acknowledge the truth that, if not for Jesus, you and I would be filled with nothing but regret.
Tomorrow we will see how God is determined to bless you by resolving your regrets about the past.