The arrival of a new year compels us to focus on our goals for the future. It can also be a great time to reflect on the lessons learned during the current year. Every day given is a blessing and an opportunity. We honor God by making the most of each one. We at Faith Church of Sherman want to know: What did you learn in 2017?
There are things to be learned in every challenge that we face. Surely you encountered your share in 2017. Did you view these challenges as opportunities to refine your character? Malachi 3:2-4 tells us that God is “like a refiner’s fire.” The problem is that many times we view our obstacles as a form of punishment. We rail against the heavens and question why we should be treated poorly. The reality is that those obstacles can be given as wonderful learning opportunities.
It is also true that blessings can be opportunities for learning about God’s grace and how we should remain humble. Did you use your blessings to examine your own heart and what it holds for God and others? Abundance can be given as a chance for God to observe what type of steward we are with His riches. Did you use the Master’s substance wisely last year?
God is a loving and patient father. He delights in teaching his children. There are times when lessons must be delivered in a stern manner, just as they are given by mortal parents to their children. At other times lessons are gentle and meant to convey the most important truths of life. All lessons are given in love.
Every minute of every day of the year is merely a fulfillment of God’s divine plan. Realize that you are exactly where God wants you to be at any moment in time. If you can’t discern God’s purpose then simply be still. Listen for His guidance and direction. The answers that you seek will be given when you trust Him.
As you move forward into 2018, use what you learned this year to guide the goals and resolutions you will make going forward. If you examine the mistakes you made in 2017 you are bound to gain some insight into how you can do better this year. We are always growing in the eyes of God and are forever His children. He loves to watch us mature and find new ways to testify of His glory.