Look Both Ways

Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise. —Joshua 1:2

During our church’s annual New Year’s Eve Communion service, we say this prayer together: “Father, we surrender this past year and give it up to You. We give You our failures, our regrets, and our disappointments, for we have no more use for them. Make us now a new people, forgetting what lies behind and pressing on toward that which lies ahead of us.

“We give You all our hopes and dreams for the future. Purify them by Your Spirit so that our wills shall truly reflect Your will for us.

“As we stand on the threshold of another year, encourage us by our successes of the past, challenge us by the power of Your Word, and guide us by the presence of Your Holy Spirit.”

In every transition, it’s good to look both ways. When Joshua assumed leadership of Israel, God told him to consider the past and the future: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them” (Joshua 1:2). Then He promised, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. . . . Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (vv.5,9).

With confidence in God, we can look back and look ahead, then walk boldly into a new year.

David C. McCasland

Forgive us, Lord, for failures past,
  Then help us start anew
  With strength and courage to obey
  And closely follow You.


The victories of the past give courage for the future.

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