Another year has gone by, leaving its mark on our lives.
If we think about the past year, as believers we have a lot of things to thank God for, but there are still many areas where we like Paul must say, “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect … [but] I keep on running…” Philippians 3:12 (CEV).
If we have been faithful and have lived the life of a disciple, we go into the new year as a new person. We have experienced that God has been changing us inwardly, and we have been made new in our mind. (Romans 12:1-2.) Though our outward being is dying, inwardly we are being made new day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16.) So we have no reason to lose hope, but we can carry on full of courage, trusting God, who is working inside us and who gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (Philippians 2:13.)
Paul also writes that God, who has begun this good work in us, will continue working in us until the work is completed on the day that Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6.) This means that everything that is still left of our old life with its sinful human desires, old sinful habits, opinions, old human understanding and judgment, and every bit of evil must be removed by God’s fire.
When we come into trials, we get to see the sinful desires, human opinions, criticism and other horrible things that still live in us. Then we can admit that these things are still in us and decide to get rid of them. Therefore, it's written in Romans 8:28 and 29 that God works all things for our best, so that we can be changed to become like His Son.
Our task is to be humble and obedient just like Christ, who humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross. (Philippians 2:8.) “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:5 (NIV).
“Then the one seated on the throne said, ‘Look! I’m making all things new.” Revelation 21:5. What a hope to have in our hearts in the coming new year!