Happy or Holy?

While parts of my life are VERY high tech (see, you can teach an ‘old dog’ new tricks!), there is one area that is very OLD SCHOOL. I don’t have my calendar on my phone, or in any of my three computers. My calendar hangs on the wall just to the right of my monitor showing one month at the time. If something doesn’t get written down on the wall calendar it does not exist or it doesn’t get done!!

Earlier this week, I got out my 2013 calendar, which I bought a couple of months ago, to transfer important dates over from the 2012 calendar. Opening a new calendar is an interesting experience. It is blank. Well, you might be thinking, “duh”, of course it is. The point is that 2013 will come, but none of us have any idea what 2013 will bring. I look back at some very unexpected things that happened last year. Who would have ever thought that my husband would have a heart attack, have open heart surgery, and that we would spend 26 days in two hospitals? There were other unexpected events that had to be faced, both personally and professionally, some pleasant and some not.

As a nation, we have a looming fiscal cliff, the continuing degradation of our culture, significant unemployment, a decline in church attendance, an increasing demand for big government to meet all our needs, millions of babies being killed, millions of babies being born who will not have an intact home with their mommy and daddy, the encroachment of foreign and homegrown terrorism, murderous events all over the place, and on it goes. So…where do we look for any security? In the midst of all the ‘unknown’ and ‘unpredictable’ there is only one place to look and that is to gaze at and embrace the One who NEVER changes: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

As we make our ‘plans’ we should keep in mind: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'” James 4:15
We definitely don’t know WHAT the future holds, but we do know WHO holds the future. “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19a

While I will wish all a Happy New Year, I think it is more important that we look for a Holy New Year!!

PSALMIST RESOLUTIONS

1. Psalm 119
30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. 31 I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD ;

2. Psalm 119
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word

3. Psalm 119
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, 47 for I delight in your commands because I love them.  48 I lift up my hands to your commands,which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.

4. Psalm 119
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. 64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

5. Psalm 119
75 I know, O LORD , that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. 77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. 78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.

6. Psalm 119

173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.

Most Christians have an abundance of material blessings to count at the end of the year for which to thank the Lord. Even if they have none of these, however, God has crowned the year with goodness and favor, with lovingkindness and tender mercies, with grace and glory and honor and, best of all His own presence.

Psalm 65
11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.

Psalm 5
12 For surely, O LORD , you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, may this prayer of faith and anticipation be ours:

O Lord god, who has called us, Your servants, To ventures of which we cannot see the ending.
By paths as yet untrodden, And through perils unknown, Give us faith to go out with good courage, Not knowing where we go
But only that Your hand is leading us And Your love is supporting us.

RESTING ON GOD

O GOD MOST HIGH, MOST GLORIOUS,
The thought of thine infinite serenity cheers me,
For I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed,
but thou art for ever at perfect peace.
Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment,
they stand fast as the eternal hills.
Thy power knows no bond,
thy goodness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion,
and my defeats are thy victories;
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows,
to leave every concern entirely to thee,
every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood;
Revive deep spirituality in my heart;
Let me live near to the great shepherd,
hear his voice, know its tones, follow its calls.
Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth,
from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit.
Give me intense faith in the eternal verities,
burning into me by experience the things I know;
Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel,
that I may bear its reproach,  vindicate it,
see Jesus as its essence,
know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill’;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee, that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.

Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
Page 129

 

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