Happy New Year! Happy Monday! Today is the first workday of the New Year. Many of us return to work with a sense of optimism and hope. It is time to dream. It is time to look forward to new beginnings.
This year will be different we tell ourselves. It has to be different. Maybe 2015 was not such a good year. And the year before that. And the year before that.
Then there is part of us that tells us nothing is going to change. It is going to be more of the same – overwhelmed, exhausted, over-scheduled, anxious, isolated, and dissatisfied.
Let me tell you right now that this year can be different. But it has nothing to do with turning a page on a calendar. It has nothing to do with a different number. It has everything to do with God.
Our God is a God of new beginnings. Every day is a new day. Every day is a new start. You are a new creation in him (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). The past is in the past. There is a whole new future that awaits.
The Book of Ephesians gives us some insight. The Apostle Paul writes:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:3–4, ESV)
Every spiritual blessing! Did you read that? Say it out loud. Every spiritual blessing!
There is nothing God holds back. Through Christ, you have full access to everything you need. He has given you everything worth giving you.
God may not give you physical wealth. But he has given you something even greater. It is called contentment.
God may not give you freedom from all the troubles of the world. But he has given you his perfect presence and the promise to carry you through.
Every spiritual blessing is what empowers us to live in this world but not of this world. It is what makes you different and sets you apart from those who do not know Christ. It is a confidence that even though kingdoms of the world may fall, there is a greater kingdom that remains.
He has given you the gift of faith. He has given you a high calling to serve his kingdom. He has given you abundant life. You are more blessed than you will ever realize.
Now you may wonder if God has already given you every spiritual blessing, why do you not feel more blessed? The hang up is not so much about God not giving. The problem is more about our not receiving. We will talk more about that tomorrow.
Questions for Reflection
- What does it mean to you that God has already given you every spiritual blessing?
- Write down five blessings you experienced in 2015.
- What do you pray to be different in 2016? What is God’s role in making that happen?
- Share your comments.