What comes to your mind when you hear, “It is the end of the old and the beginning of the new?”
I wish I could say I always love when something is over and something new begins. Truth is…it’s not always easy to end something. We hate to say goodbye when our vacation ends and we have to head back home to reality again. Also, what about when you are reading a really good book and you come to the last page. Have you watched a movie lately that ended abruptly and you left with that empty feeling, saying, “I can’t believe it ended that way?”
“All good things come to an end.”
Really? This statement originated back in 1374. Do all good things have to end? As I ponder this question I wonder how many good things we don’t even realize have ended until they are gone? For instance, the last time your son sat on your lap and you didn’t know it would be the last time. Or, the very last night you tucked your precious daughter in her bed to only realize later that she was big enough to go to bed by herself and didn’t want you to help her. We tend to just live life day by day and sometimes the important things end without us even realizing it. Later we may realize that we no longer do them. Would we have relished that last bed time a little longer? Would we have hugged and held on a little more tightly to the little boy who was growing up?
Many times we don’t know when the old will be gone and the new will be here. It is just life and it happens.
Wow! It just seems like yesterday we were welcoming in, with a slight fear the new millennium, the year 2000! 1999 was gone and the NEW had come, it was not only a new year, a new decade, but a whole new millennium. My kids will barely remember the 1900’s. I think it’s kind of cool that they have 1900 birthdays. My grandchildren will all be born in the 2000’s.
So as you reflect back on last year what have been your greatest memories, your greatest success stories? Were your prayers answered? Are you still praying if not? I try at the end of every year to look back and reflect on the good that has happened instead of the bad. I know sometimes we tend to remember the hard things, the trials in our life a lot longer than we remember the blessings. I wonder why?
Why do we focus on the challenges instead of what we conquered? God remembers the sins no more, why do we have to hang on to the sadness? We are called to be conquerors and to overcome! When we hold onto the old instead of looking forward to the new, we limit ourselves. We also are saying to God, “I need to wallow here just a little longer, I’ll catch up with You when I am done wallowing in my sadness.” He will let you, but that’s not His plan.
Here are 5 new ideas to help you overcome the Old and look forward to the New!
1. Let it go. Now, I totally understand that is much easier said, than done. I have had to let go of something this year and it is very difficult. The way to help you let something or someone go is to first understand the “why”. Why is it important for you to let it go? Why is it important for you to no longer allow that to be a part of your life? Why is important for you to move past it and move forward? Once you determine the why, then you can start working toward the next steps of letting something or someone go. If that person who you are trying to let go is not good for you, or maybe they just no longer want to be a part of your life then we have to make a choice to accept that and move on. It is difficult. You may never know the real reason they should no longer be in your life but God does. We have to trust God, knowing that He has your best interest at heart and He sees the future. If you are trying to let go of something instead of a someone, then you still need to understand the why and then make a conscious choice that you no longer need it in your life. Maybe, it is a habit, an addiction, or even something good like a dream but it is time to let it go. I have had to let go of a prayer before and finally accept that God’s answer is no. We need to be able to discern in life when it is time to “Let it Go.”
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Isaiah 43:18
2. Forgive. In order to let the old go and be ready for the NEW God has for us, we have to be able to forgive. Forgiveness is not always easy. It also requires a conscious choice to take this next action. Forgiveness is not forgetting what has happened, but it is freeing you to move forward. It frees you to release that person to God and not allow it to bog you down and steal your joy. We can’t always forget what the other person did to us, but by forgiving them we don’t allow ourselves to keep bringing it up. If you are walking in unforgiveness then you are the one it continues to hurt. How do you know if you have forgiven? You can think of that person and see that person without any resentment. Jesus forgave us so that we can forgive others. It is a process and may not happen overnight. But you and I can do it!
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:31-32
3. Write it down. In helping you with steps # 1 and #2 it may be helpful to write it down. This could be in a form of a letter to God, a letter to the person (if necessary and will not cause problems), a letter to self. It is a known fact that when we write something down it helps us to remember it. So, write it down. If you need to keep reading it to remind you to continue to walk in forgiveness then do it. If you need to write it down and then burn the letter or throw it away to completely let it go, then do it. However, whatever you do with the letter afterwards is up to you, but the main thing is to write it down, then release it to God.
“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets…” Habakkuk 2:2
4. Focus. Focus on God and His plans and purposes. He has great plans for you and they are not to keep you bound up in the past of unforgiveness, they are plans to give you a hope and a future. This requires trust and seeking the One and Only God above. God’s Word doesn’t say that He has plans for your past, but that He has plans for your future. The old is gone and the new has come. Walk into the NEW! Walk with confidence! Seek the One who can make all things new. Strain towards what is ahead.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:13
5. Don’t give up. Remember each day is a new day. The old is gone and the new is to come. You may be one day away from your dreams coming true, or meeting the man or woman of your dreams. God may have a promotion right around the corner for you. He may be getting ready to bless you with a child, when you haven’t been able to get pregnant. He has plans for good not harm. However, God sometimes takes away something, so He can make way for something new and even better. God doesn’t want to hurt us or cause us pain. However, He will allow suffering to produce submission. He wants to teach us to surrender to Him and His plans. I have been stubborn at times and I am sure I am not the only one. God knows it may take a little pain and suffering, or a loss of something valuable to me to open my eyes and help me to realize that He is in control, not me. This is to help me focus on Him and not my own desires. God has something far greater for me and you than we can ever imagine. He just wants us to submit to Him and His will. So, when losing or letting go of something or someone you love, remember God has a purpose for everything.
“So please don’t lose heart…” Eph 3:13
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17
Ask God Today:
1. To help you let go.
2. To help you forgive.
3. To help you write it down.
4. To help you focus on Him and His purposes.
5. To help you not give up on His plans.
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