Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
“Enjoy it [life] while you can. Seize every scrap of legitimate happiness, but remember…life is not a picnic. There are tears in things.”
–William E. Sangster
Psalm 65 is one of my favorite Psalms. Several days ago my principal gave a devotion over verse 11, a verse I had never really noticed before.
“You crown the year with Your goodness; Your ways overflow with plenty.” (HCSB)
2017 is the year that is upon us. We have no idea what the year holds, the changes that may come, the obstacles and challenges of the year, but it is given to us by the heavenly Father. There are several things to be said about this, but I’ll hint on a couple.
First, the year is crowned with goodness. Don’t give in to the naysayers, especially about the inauguration. God is in charge. He plans goodness for our lives. However, be careful–what He plans for our lives is often thwarted by our poor decisions or the attacks of the devil. Even then, if we obey and listen to the Holy Spirit it will be good.
That brings me to a second point. Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, HCSB. Combine that with 2 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (HCSB). Putting those two scriptures together and obeying and believing them help the year to be crowned with goodness. Remember, goodness doesn’t always mean plenty, material blessings, or earthly reward. Often goodness is when the Lord helps us through our stupid decisions. It is when He provides a way when the devil has sought to destroy.
We are given 2017, in the year of our Lord. What we do with it has largely been placed in our hands. We can squander it, or use it for the kingdom. But, I also want your attention to be drawn to another Psalm.
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (118:24, HCSB)
Not only did the Lord give us this year, but He gives us each day. Days fulfilled eventually become a year. What we do with the time God has given us is very important. We should be good stewards of each day. Each day we should be keeping in step with eternity rather than slumming with the world. Look around at the world, the situation that is an ever-present danger. Remember the day and the year are given to us by the Lord and then meditate on the words of Paul. “Making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16, HCSB).
I like the way the Phillip’s version reads, “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God.” (5:15-17)
In other words–this year is ours; a gift from God. He has great things planned. It is our life to live, and notice, “with responsibility”, and grasping the will of God for our lives.